The Lost Weekend (1945)

Reid, 29. April 2006, 19:02

I’ve seen a few movies that I really didn’t care for, some of them winners of awards and critical acclaim.

The Lost Weekend*(1945)
Dir. Billy Wilder
Starring: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, etc.
101 minutes
(*Oscar for best picture)

Not here’s a best picture winner that I thought was not deserving of the award. I’m probably in the minority here, but I just don’t care for Hollywood films that seem to primarily want to educate the public about a social condition or issue, and put chararcter and story in the back-seat. It’s as if they want the audience to leave saying, “Oh, so that’s what it’s like to be (fill in the blank).” In this case the subject is alcoholism.Now, in 1945, this film may have been bold and revelatory for many people. I don’t think it would be for many 2006 audiences.

The other problem I had was the acting. Like Days of Wine and Roses, I just found the acting too dramatic and self-conscious. Maybe I’ve seen addicts in real life or maybe I’ve seen many more realistic performances (One of the best off the top of my head is Samuel L. Jackson’s performance in Jungle Fever–probably his best performance, imo.). I guess you could say the film is a bit dated.

The film also doesn’t have Wilder’s excellent dialogue–although this is not a film where his wit and use of double-entendre would be appropriate. If you take away the shock and revelatory power of the film, and you don’t think the acting is that great, there’s really very little to recommend in the film.

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