Saturday, January 22, 2011
1985: Out of Africa
There were some aspects of this movie that I really liked, but not quite enough to make up for the aspects I didn't. Meryl Streep is, of course, fabulous, and Robert Redford is always fun to watch. The cinematography is probably the best thing about the film: there are many gorgeous shots of breathtaking scenery, and the whole movie is very visually appealing. But the story drags a lot. There are many promising side-stories - Karen's developing relationship with the natives, issues with growing coffee at that elevation, the other British people that live nearby, etc - that are brushed over in favor of love scenes between Streep and Redford. And then toward the end, we have to hear them have the same argument over and over: yes, we know, Meryl Streep wants him to marry her, but Robert Redford wants to remain a free spirit. We don't have to hear about it six times.
This is yet another example of a really long, depressing Best Picture. Unlike Amadeus, which is long but keeps moving the story forward at a pretty good pace, I think this film could have easily been much shorter. In the last 45 minutes, I kept thinking it was about to end, but it just kept plodding on and on and on. I was starting to think that it never actually finished, but just kept going forever. Thankfully, that was not the case. As beautiful as the cinematography is, and as much as I like the lead actors, I got really tired of this film, and I was relieved when it was over.
Coming Up Next: Platoon