mmm, this skull is so soft on my skin, not rough like sand
He Said: To Watch or not to watch...
This is one we were not looking forward to at all. We had been dragging our feet for a long time, procrastinating, to avoid watching this oldie. It isn't that I don't like Shakespeare, I do like some Shakespeare a great deal, but a Shakespeare play filmed in the 1940s was not something I was looking forward to. Then add on the fact that it is one of the most commonly produced plays and one of the most boring and it makes it an exercise in will power to watch this film. But eventually we settled in for a two night viewing of this classic and it was more or less what I expected it to be.
For starters it is an impossible task to determine if the Academy got this one right as I haven't seen any of the other nominees (does seeing The Red Shoe Diaries on Showcase back in the day count as a substitute for The Red Shoes?) nor have I seen anything else from 1948, but I can at least say if I was entertained and enjoyed the film. In short, no, but there were aspects to the film that interested me.
I am sure most people know the plot line of Hamlet so I won't regurgitate that (if you don't, then look it up on wikipedia). In short, some people die, there is back stabbing and revenge, and more people die...it is a Shakespeare tragedy after all. Even though I knew the general plot, there were times that I was lost and didn't really know who the minor characters were and forgot how they were connected with each other. But a quick check on wikipedia was all it took to bring some clarity. Now I doubt this feeling of being lost had much to do with the movie specifically and more to do with Shakespearean plays, I often find it hard to follow the minor characters in the plays in the first or second act. I did happen to pull out a copy of Hamlet and tried to follow along with the movie just to see how in keeping with the original text it was. The movie does, for the most part follow along fairly closely, although there were a couple scenes that were reversed in the movie compared to the play, I am not sure why they were reversed nor do I feel that it was an issue with continuity. The production and quality of acting was quite good and overall it was a good film. The problem is that I don't care about Hamlet as a play and I tend to prefer watching Shakespeare on stage or reading it rather than watching it on film.
So overall a good movie, but best picture? Not so sure about that one, the jury will likely remain out indefinitely on this as I don't foresee myself watching any of the other nominees ever.
Other nominees: Johnny Belinda, The Red Shoes, The Snake Pit, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Next up: Titanic 1997 (Jack! Jack, jack, jack)