Mittwoch, 11. Juli 2012

A Woman's Face (Cukor, 1941) #DTC 1407

A criminal woman with a disfigured face is restored to beauty and (some sort of) innocence.


Not too many details stick to the mind from this one. There are a lot of interesting close-up shots of Crawford, hiding the disfigured side of her face under a hat. The story seems to be concerned with the new magic of the times of applied psychology and restoration surgery.

There is one fantastic scene where Crawford rides on a cable car, with a little boy she is supposed to kill. Her back and forth, until she decides that she cannot do it, are quite remarkable. Another  memorable moment was the horse sled chase. Nothing compared to modern chase sequences, but the idea struck me as very original.

The film might have been quite enjoyable at the time, but has not aged too well in my opinion. It might be a good example of a highly structured screenplay, I think:
  1. Setting up the blackmail and the operation
  2. At the new home
    1. A new life at the farmhouse
    2. She has to kill the boy and will get arrested at one point
  3. Hunting down the real killer and showdown in court

Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (Ritchie, 2011)

The genial sleuth mutates into a spectacular superhero to save the world from another evil crimelord.


There is an interesting trend to superheroize anything - spearheaded by the deadly avalanche of more or less cleverly made or marketed comic adaptations, the box office has started to execute power on the neighboring genre, such as the classical detective story.

It was a smart move to choose Downey as the slightly crazy sleuth, given his real-life experience with drugs, his relentless sarcasm and him having just the right age for this role. Jude Law also gets his moments, but they are few and their numbers quite possibly related to some kind of co-production contract. So - this leaves practically the whole cake for Downey. And he gets it and he eats it. (at least as Holmes)

Some of the more spectacular jokes didn't quite work for me and sometimes the video-game style editing takes you completely out of the movie and places you on the sidewalk outside the theatre. I remember at least two occasions, where there were edit sequences just to show off. But the rest is fantastically put together.

Great scene: restaurant scene in the beginning. Nice idea, good execution.