Gangster movies probably rank as my least favourite of all movie genres. There are some exceptions, such as White Heat, but on the whole I don’t get the appeal. Also among the films that I tend to dislike are gritty British films. It’s not that I dislike realism as a lot of films I enjoy can all into that of area (I think my newfound love of Abbas Kiarostami is proof of that). Therefore I figured that while watching the Mac daddy of all gritty British gangster flicks I might be able to find one that I enjoyed.
It didn’t really work out for me. Maybe I’m just naive but I find it difficult to buy into a world like this one. There are a number of innocent bystanders, such has Carter’s landlady, but for most part everyone is a different shade of villain. Reviewers of this film have described it as intoxicating, I just found it thoroughly depressing. Not as depressing as Kes, but depressing just the same.
There is a lot of this film that has since become iconic including the score and many of the shots featuring Michael Caine with a shotgun. Speaking of which, it was so weird for me to see Michael Caine in a role like this. Keep in mind that my only real exposure to Michael Caine has been in The Muppets Christmas Carol and the films of Christopher Nolan. So I was very unprepared to see him in this role of a remorseless gangster/killer.
All I can say is bravo to the ending: it was really satisfying the way that went down.
It’s gotten to the point where I have started to pair the films I’m watching for the sake of contrast. In my last post I did this with Iranian films because I just wanted to see a second Iranian film. For this post I have ended up watching two films where the link is Michael Caine.
I cannot say that I am the biggest fan of Woody Allen. I have made sure that I’ve only watched films of his that are considered amongst his best. Even then whilst I enjoyed Blue Jasmine and Zelig I just did not get Annie Hall. I have come to realise that maybe I was too young at 13 to properly understand Annie Hall.
I am going to say now that I think this was the first time I laughed out loud at a Woody Allen film. It was during the scene where his parents are over reacting to the idea of him becoming a catholic. His father says something about not being able to understand the can opener so why would he understand the Nazi party. I don’t know why, but that really tickled me.
You have to hand it to Woody Allen he really knows how to create a stunning ensemble cast. I’m not sure if there was a weak link amongst this rather large group of people. It’s interesting how it was Dianne Wiest that got the Oscar for best supporting actress; then again if it was going to be given to one of them she is the best pick. Don’t get me wrong I thought that Barbara Hershey was also very sympathetic in her portrayal, but Wiest really knocks it out of the park.
My question is did Michael Caine deserve his Oscar? Looking at the other nominees I would have probably given my vote to Tom Berenger for his role in Platoon. Don’t get me wrong Caine was really good, I just wanted to punch him.