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Sometimes you just feel that certain movies are just made for award ceremonies. The type of heavy handed dramas, with a melodramatic storyline, that's dealing with sensitive issues, that wants to be politically correct, with a moral in it, that's all set in a specific time period in the past. The type of movie that is always likely to get noticed and nominated for something by some big award shows, regardless of everything, as also was being the case with this movie, which actually got nominated for 4 Oscar's but it eventually won none. And rightfully so!

Oh yes, I recognized this movie very well for trying to be like a big '50's melodramatic production but only problem with it was that this movie was being even more shallow and predictable than a real '50's production. Besides, this movie might had been far more relevant if it indeed got done back in the '50's but in today's light I just can't see anyone being able to take something out of this movie while watching it. And really, I think it's always a very annoying thing when movies set in the past take on today's morals and standards. So the main character in this movie is being extremely liberal concerning African Americans and homosexuality, making this movie a very political correct one, without ever explaining why this main character would feel that way, concerning all of the movie its sensitive subjects.

And that was a problem all throughout as well; the movie just never handles- or builds its drama up very well. It lets things just happen without ever telling you why or how exactly. Why does the main character fall in love? Why do certain people get mad? Why do people suddenly decide to leave? For me, none of this ever became apparent while watching the movie, making this a very shallow viewing experience.

Things weren't improved by the fact that the movie was being a very predictable one, from start to finish. Seriously, nothing surprising ever happened and the movie progressed in the exact same way as I kept anticipating it to do.

And while the movie is trying to be very heavy and dramatic with all of its themes; nothing ever feels all that dramatic. So it's really being a melodrama without any true good drama. Perhaps it could had worked out if I cared a bit more for any of its characters but just like its story; its characters don't seem to have enough depth to them and they are not build up very well. The movie mostly relies on stereotypes, which also includes some very stereotypical characters.

Another thing that highly annoyed me was the, probably deliberate, extremely melodramatic musical score by Elmer Bernstein. It made walking down a stairs sound dramatic and would often swell at points when there wasn't even all that much happening. It was distracting and annoying and it's hard to believe Bernstein even earned himself an Oscar nomination for this and sad to realize this was actually being his final movie, before his death in 2004.

There still was a saving grace in this movie; Julianne Moore. It's not the type of role you normally see her play and she was totally great and convincing in her role, even though the movie itself didn't gave her an awful lot of good or interesting to do.

You could also say it's being a good period piece, with its overall look and atmosphere but due to everything else, I just never could fully appreciate it.

Too late, too forced and a mostly completely ineffective modern, 'old fashioned', genre movie.

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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