Saturday, May 27, 2006

Hamming it Up

I was amused to read Ellis Sharp's recent post on the movie The Lion in Winter . He concludes that it's "truly dreadful". I unabashedly love this movie. When I first saw it many years ago, I made some snotty remarks about how it was ridiculous, "people today" want more historical accuracy from their movies (seriously), etc. But then I got sucked in and enjoyed the hell out of it. And yet everything Sharp says about is surely right. Virtually nothing happens in it, there is no dramatic development or payoff, it's anachronistic, "[i]t’s just an excuse for two Hollywood megastars to ham it up together." Yes. But that's just what I love about it. Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn are just hamming it up, and it's great. I look elsewhere for more serious art.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pauline Kael criticized it for not hamming it up enough. I enjoyed it, mostly for O'Toole, because the others don't quite let themselves go in the way that the actors in I, Claudius do. There's a potboiler!