Friday, January 21, 2011

1975 - THE ROMANTIC ENGLISHWOMAN, snooty British drama wrapped in an enigma

Lots of high class British talent in one of those "what is reality" dramas that occasionally get made to appeal to the art house crowd and maybe win a few awards. 

The writer is Tom Stoppard and the director is Joseph Losey.  Glenda Jackson and Michael Caine in one of his roles where he's not trolling for a paycheck, are the married couple.  They are either having marital problems or Caine who is a writer, is making it all in his head as part of a screenplay he is writing. If this doesn't scream classy sophisticated drama I don't know what does.

This is one of those films where everyone sits around and sips sherry out of a decanter and spouts witticisms to show how erudite they are. Tom Stoppard is known for his way with clever dialog and there are some witty lines, but the whole thing seems rather artificial to me.  The fantasy scenes the writer creates between his wife and her lover are more silly than satirical, if satire was what the filmmakers were trying to achieve, hard to tell.

There is a Mr. Smartypants nature to this film where the people making it want to rub it into everyone's face with how clever they are with their fantasy vs reality crap.

115 minutes.

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