in which a 70-year-old man talks about a 62-year-old man and a 59-year-old man quotes him
who’s bob?

what i watched last week

The Reckless Moment (Max Ophüls, 1949). I continue to gradually catch up with the work of Max Ophüls. As I have noted on occasion, for a long time I thought of Ophüls as a great director, even though I’d only seen one of his movies, The Earrings of Madame de …. Every Ophüls I have seen since (and there have been a few over the past couple of years) has disappointed me. I liked La Ronde OK, but that’s damning with faint praise considering I listed Madame de as my 14th-favorite film of all time. And I didn’t get Lola Montès at all. Now I’ve seen my first film from Ophüls’ Hollywood period, and it’s … well, OK. Like the best film noir, it has depths worthy of the kind of detailed analysis such movies inspire. Joan Bennett doesn’t do much for me … in fact, none of the actors won me over, and I found the grandfather and the young boy particularly annoying. On the other hand, that annoyance was partly the point: Bennett’s suburban mother has a fine life, except it imprisons her. And she doesn’t seem to know it. In the end, I think perhaps Ophüls suffers in my eyes because I want everything he did to measure up to my favorite. It’s the opposite of seeing a minor Howard Hawks film and taking pleasure from seeing the Hawksian touches. I don’t blame such movies for not being as good as Rio Bravo. But I give Ophüls a treatment he doesn’t really deserve. The story on which The Reckless Moment was based was later turned into the Tilda Swinton vehicle, The Deep End. As with that movie, I’m giving Reckless Moment 7/10. #800 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They list of the top 1000 films of all time.

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