Tuesday, March 31, 2009

3/30/09: Darling (1965)

I remember seeing the heavenly Julie Christie for the first time in 1978's Heaven Can Wait. Here's the film that catapulted her to international fame and won her an Academy Award for Best Actress. I've always wanted to see it, and what a spectacular disappointment it is. Julie essays the role of Diana, an ambitious model who, through a series of love affairs, catapults herself to international fame...by boring me to death. Julie was said to be excruciatingly beautiful in her first major big-screen role, but she frankly possesses only the tiniest fraction of the beauty she would have playing opposite Warren Beatty some 13 years later. In Darling, Julie pouts, smokes, wails, argues and jumps from bed to bed, moving upwardly and keeping her eyes on the prize. The movie is cynical without being engaging; I never really cared what happened to the amoral Diana. There are a couple of tense, well-played scenes every time she breaks up with one of her boyfriends; the rest of the time is just filler. One of the drawbacks of these swinging 1960s British films is that everybody smokes, all the time. It's bloody difficult to watch. Rating: 2/5.

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