Gender-Bending the Rules Blogathon – Yentl (1983)

This is my 1st of 3 entries in the Gender-Bending the Rules Blogathon being hosted by Chris of Angelman’s Place and Quiggy of The Midnite Drive-In.

Tnx for letting me partake Guys!

“Why is it people who want the truth never believe it when they hear it?” – Anshel

Number of Times Seen – Between 3-5 times (Cable in the 80’s and 15 Sep 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A young Jewish girl who loves to learn, disguises herself as a young boy in order to fulfill her dream.

My Take on it – Barbara Streisand started out as a singer and over the years she became an accomplished actress and then eventually a director.

This film was her debut as a director and it is so easy to see how this film was an allegory for such a powerful female voice in a male domineering field.

This film is all about how a woman can find her way in a male dominated profession and it doesn’t matter whether the events take place in the 1980’s or the 1880’s because that is the way life always was until there were some powerful women who have done all that they can to make the necessary changes in the world or at least the perception of things like that in the world.

This is probably Streisand’s best film as a director and she does a great job directing this story even if it has many flaws along the way.

This is a story that is based on a “folk tale” but it still works on numerous levels in showing the need for balance and fairness in various facets of life including the field of study.

The music is superbly done even if it feels as if the same mantra is being sung over and over because it allows us to get a deeper feeling about all that is happening.

Mandy Patinkin and Amy Irving are both great here in supporting roles even if the arcs of their characters are a bit problematic.

Streisand tho is the star here and she shines in every scene that she appears in because we are able to get a real understanding of the need for a woman to be a part of the man’s world and the fact that she is even willing to go to such great lengths to achieve such a feat is astounding.

The story itself isn’t perfect yet it still works quite well.

Bottom Line – This is Streisand’s masterpiece even if it doesn’t resonate as well as one would hope. The story itself is based on a “folk tale” yet still works on numerous levels. The music is superb even when it feel repetitious. Patinkin and Irving also give great performances here even if the story itself falters at certain points. Streisand tho shines in the title role and makes the story feel like an analogy for her own work in the field of directing. Recommended

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – For this film, Barbra Streisand became the first woman ever to win the Golden Globe for Best Director. She was later nominated for Best Director at both the Golden Globes and Directors Guild of America Awards for The Prince of Tides (1991). She has to this day never been nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards but handed out the Oscar for Best Director the first and only time it has been won by a woman (by Kathryn Bigelow). (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)


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4 thoughts on “Gender-Bending the Rules Blogathon – Yentl (1983)

  1. Hi Rob – great review of a fascinating if flawed film–I totally agree with your assessment. I very much enjoyed the music and the acting, but the film felt just a little bit dated at the time, and if it was a musical I would have liked to hear the wonderful Mandy Patinkin (and other characters besides Barbra) sing! I also don’t think Streisand looks enough like a boy here–or maybe we just know so well that famous Streisand face! (She was also a bit long in the tooth to play a Yeshiva boy!!)

    I much prefer Prince of Tides, which is a much more satisfying film experience in my opinion…but I agree that Streisand should have at least been nominated for an Oscar for one or both of these films.

    Thanks so much for participating in the Blogathon!


  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1983 |

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