Shirley Valentine (1989)


“I have allowed myself to lead this little life, when inside me there was so much more. And it’s all gone unused. And now it never will be. Why do we get all this life if we don’t ever use it? Why do we get all these feelings and dreams and hopes if we don’t ever use them?” – Shirley Valentine

Number of Times Seen – 1 (22 Oct 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A bored housewife travels to Greece on a whim in order to find more meaning in her life.

My Take on it – This is a film that I had never heard of before coming across it during my quest to watch and review all films that have received Oscar nominations for performances.

The plot of this film is actually quite mediocre and unoriginal but the strong performance by Pauline Collins is the thing that makes it stand out.

She is able to help develop this character in a way that makes her feel a bit more realistic and the way that her character constantly breaks the fourth wall actually helps make things feel more personable and helps endear her to the viewer.

She was nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars for her performance.

The story of this film tho is played out in a very predictable way and fails to find a way to make things feel original in any way possible because it seems to follow a pattern that is well known in the genre.

The supporting cats is fine here and even with Tom Conti and Bernard Hill among the cast, they aren’t able to raise the level of enjoyment since neither seems to be given enough to work with.

This possible comes from the fact that the story remains solely focused on the main character and makes the supporting ones much less important or essential to the story.

Bottom Line – Pretty mediocre film that is accentuated by a great performance by Collins. The character is developed really well and the way that she constantly breaks the fourth wall helps endear her to the viewer. She was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work in this film. The story itself tho unfortunately plays out quite predictably and they fail to find ways to make things feels fresh and original in any way. The rest of the cast is fine and even Conti and Hill are both not given enough to work with since the story focuses solely on the main character with little care for the rest of the supporting characters.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – A rarity in film, Pauline Collins’ character Shirley sporadically engages the cinema audience by looking straight into the camera as she voices her thoughts, a technique called “breaking the fourth wall”. Curiously enough, the film’s director Lewis Gilbert earlier directed Michael Caine as the titular Alfie (1966) in which he also spoke his thoughts directly to the viewer. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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One thought on “Shirley Valentine (1989)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1989 | MovieRob

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