All About Eve

It was harder than I thought to find time to sit down and watch this movie! I was busy burning my fingers peeling chestnuts fresh from the stove, and trying to figure out how to defrost my strange veggie Wellington I was going to make. So, now, with blistered fingers, I can compose some sort of thoughts for you. Today I watched All About Eve ( by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950).

It seems like a lot of my family had heard about this film, or watched it already, where me, a child of the 80's, was ignorant. I've been watching a huge streak of foreign, captioned movies for this project, so I actually felt out of sorts watching something in English. I was confused..."Wait, I have to turn the sound up? I have to listen? Ugh!" And, in light of the fact that it is currently Christmas day, I hope you understand if I keep this short!



For me, one of the best part of this film is the dialogue. I love the quick, witty banter in films of this time period. The characters say the most funny remarks, so quickly to each other, and I love that. It makes it so amusing to watch, and it makes it very easy to fall in love with the characters. You feel closer to them, when you are laughing right along with them. It really helped the story feel much richer and I felt more connected to it. There were a lot of moments that were funny and charming, but they contributed a lot to the plot at the same time. It really was a masterful script, I was a bit in envy. I think that this style of dialogue, that this kind of witty banter is sort of out of fashion right now. I don't often see films with that style anymore, and it's hard to imagine one today. A lot of popular films are mostly action and image, not so much words and arguments. I'm not sure if that would go over so well today, at least in mainstream culture. I don't know, there is just something about this script that feels like a little snapshot back in time to me.

Ebert writes a lot about this film as  compared to Sunset Blvd, which I have never seen, so most of his analysis is lost on me. A lot of what he writes about in his essay is unfamilar to me - I really haven't seen many Marilyn Monroe movies, but he writes a lot about her supporting role in this film, and wonders if she steals the spotlight because we know how big of a star she becomes or because she was always that big of a star. Unfortunately, I don't really have an opinion about this, since I'm so unfamilar with everything he is talking about. I hope that I as go on with this project, I will become more knowledgeable. 

I really liked this film a lot, despite my lack of thoughts about it. I really loved the story, the acting, and the great dialogue. Bette Davis was pretty much incredible. I don't know what else to say! I think it's tough to work on something like this on Christmas day, when I slept one hour the night before and I can hardly stay awake, and I want to get back to hang out with my lovely family.  So pardon my inarticulate ideas. I want to go spend some time with them before I pass out from lack of sleep. :)

Links:
Ebert's Great Movie Essay

The Apartment

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul