Thursday, January 11, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks #183: Once Was Enough -- Movies I have no desire to see a second time

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of "Thursday Movie Picks", the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. This week's theme is "Once Was Enough", meaning movies that we saw once and don't really want to see a second time due to the difficult nature of them. It's too bad I used Under the Volcano six months ago, because that's one I'd love to use in this challenge. But it turns out I was able to come up with three movies from the 1970s to use in this challenge:

Cries and Whispers (1973). Harriet Andersson plays a woman dying of cancer in Sweden around 1900, and looking after her now that her final days are here are her two sisters (Ingrid Thulin and Liv Ullmann). The family dynamic is screwed up, and all three sisters have flashbacks as to why that might be. One of the sisters cuts her vagina with a piece of glass. Seriously. It goes on like this. Ingmar Bergman directed with an extremely red palette.

The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972). Paul Newman plays the famous hanging judge who was the "only law west of the Pecos" as a complete jerk who makes the TV judges of today look like nice people. It doesn't help that John Huston got self-indulgent later in his career, and this is one of the more self-indulgent of Huston's movies that I've seen.

An Unmarried Woman (1978). Jill Clayburgh plays a modern urban woman who one day is divorced by her husband (Michael Murphy) because he's having a mid-life crisis and wants another woman. She tries to put her life back together, seeing a shrink and meeting another man (Alan Bates). I was about six when this came out and remember thinking back then that it sounded like such a sophisticated movie. Then I grew up and watched it and found out I was most definitely not in the target demographic. I had no desire to hear Clayburgh's character talk about getting her first period.


Katie Hogan said...

Not seen any of these but have of An Unmarried Woman, no idea that Alan Bates was in it! And that Bergman film...I think I'll avoid that one....

joel65913 said...

Cries & Whispers was well done, though by the end I felt as if I'd spent a couple of hours inside a tomato, with some beautiful acting. I particularly liked Kari Sylwan as the caring Anna but I agree that a one time viewing was plenty.

Aside from some fun star spotting and Ava Gardner I found Roy Bean a slog to get through, a real wasted opportunity.

An Unmarried Woman is such a creature of its time. Both Jill Clayburgh and Alan Bates do what they can with it but it is firmly mired in that 70's awareness speak.

My first I used simply because of the title working so well with the theme but it is in no way a recommendation but the others are films I though okay but won't be revisiting ever.

Once is Not Enough (1975)-Oh but it most certainly was…more than enough to be frank!! Based on the theme I couldn’t resist but this terrible film based on a trashy Jacqueline Susann novel about a na├»ve selfish and rather stupid rich girl (Deborah Raffin) who becomes involved with an much older man (David Janssen) as a substitute for her obsession with her father (Kirk Douglas) is tasteless, crass and badly acted by everyone except Alexis Smith and Brenda Vaccaro (who somehow managed to rise above the muck and be nominated for Best Supporting Actress). For something so salacious it’s remarkably dull.

La Ronde (1950) - Max Ophuls’s venerated roundelay of a circle of love affairs, some serious some frivolous in 1900 Vienna is a supposed mad whirl of joie de vivre. I love many other of Ophuls’s films, Letter from an Unknown Woman, The Earrings of Madame de… & The Reckless Moment among them, so I was really looking forward to this film but while I didn’t hate it I found it rather silly and too frou-frou to take seriously and can’t see myself returning to it again.

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)-Two youngsters fall in love and run away together which leads a search party to set out for them while they have quirky adventures. I know I’ll probably take heat for this one and maybe it’s because Wes Anderson films by and large leave me cold but while others were telling me how charming and lovely this was I thought it was forced, trying too hard for a feeling of whimsy. Again I didn’t hate it but I had a big feeling of So What? at the film’s conclusion.

Ted S. (Just a Cineast) said...

Yes, Cries and Whispers is very red. It's also the sort of movie that's perfect for people who complain that foreign arthouse films are pretentious dreck because it gives them more ammo for their assertion.

Wendell Ottley said...

Got me on this one. I haven't seen any of these, yet.

Birgit said...

I actually like Judge Roy Bean and enjoyed all the characters. Ingmar Bergman films can be trying and I have never seen this one but Persona is another I would put on the list. I haven’t seen an Unmarried Woman but I will give it a try even though I know it is a typical 70’s art film which means lots of talking and an ending that makes one angry. Most men would have a tough time listening about a woman having her period..hahaaa

Ted S. (Just a Cineast) said...

I did, however, have a lot less problems with the sexual tension in the psychiatrist scenes in The Stepford Wives.