In my attempt to have a more prolific repertoire of Oscar Nominated Films, I have taken it upon myself to watch 89 new Best Picture Nominees that I’ve never seen before between 1 Dec 2016 and The 89th Annual Oscars on 26 Feb 2017.
Here is my 69th review of the 89 chosen Films…
“Ever’ man wants life to be a fine thing, and a easy. ‘Tis fine, boy, powerful fine, but ‘taint easy” – Penny Baxter
Number of Times Seen – 1 (6 Feb 2017)
Brief Synopsis – Portrait of life of a young boy living on a farm with his parents in the late 1800 in rural Florida.
My Take on it – I’m actually quite surprised that I never saw this film beforehand because it’s seen as a classic.
Had I seen it as a kid, I think I might have enjoyed it much more than I actually did now.
The story itself is interesting on a whole, but much of it is lost in the translation from page to screen.
I’m sure that the novel explained the family situation and life on the farm in much grander detail than could ever be managed on screen.
The cast is pretty good here with Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman and Claude Jarman Jr. all doing a good job, but many of the scenes feel a bit forced and contrived and as Peck pointed out (see Trivia below), Jarman’s character cries an awful lot.
This story does manage to say a whole lot about life on a rural farm during that time period and we get to understand the hardships and loneliness felt there, but it just isn’t projected well enough on the screen for us to be enthralled by the whole story and the way that they present it to us here.
Not quite sure that this film is good enough to be considered Best Picture material, but I’m sure it must have been viewed quite differently back then.
Bottom Line – Somewhat interesting story that probably is much better as a novel instead of on film. Peck, Wyman and Jarman are all fine here, but some of the scenes feel quite contrived. Says a lot about the hardships and loneliness of life at that time and place.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – According to Gregory Peck: “It was much too lushly done… The boy cried too much.” (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy
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I do agree with Peck, the boy did cry too much lol. This move is great because of the outdoor sets. They mix a real river in with a clearly man made marsh, farm fences with fake ones etc. It’s like walking around an old movie set. It’s reminiscent of Old Yeller which I truly enjoy showing to my kids every year. The best part of the movie is when the oh has to “take care of things.” My my, that scene is intense. Too bad for all the crying right? LOL. Thanks for posting this, it took me down memory lane.
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