Thursday, April 02, 2009

4/2/09: Georgy Girl (1966)

Yesterday's feature was a British ’60s comedy-drama filmed in black and white that touched on the issue of unwanted pregnancy. Today we get another—but while Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was more dramatic, today's movie is decidedly more comedic.

Georgy Girl is all about Georgy (Lynn Redgrave), a plain-looking and somewhat husky 22-year-old who's full of charm and a love for children, but naive in the ways of love and sex. She lives with Meredith, a beautiful but emotionally vacant violinist (Charlotte Rampling) and is chummy with Meredith's goofy, fun-loving boyfriend Jos (Alan Bates). Complications ensue when ice-bitch Meredith gets preggers and Jos decides he's really in love with Georgy. Then there's James (James Mason) the 49-year-old (!) employer of Georgy's father, who wants Georgy to be his mistress. (Mason was in his late fifties at the time of the film's release.) The film chronicles the merriment and heartbreak as all of the romantic problems get themselves worked out.

I have wanted to see this movie for decades, and very happy to finally scratch it from the list. As expected, it's a very likable and engrossing picture, due chiefly to the sprightly direction and the terrific performance of Redgrave in her second feature film. But the real revelation for me is Alan Bates, usually a bit of a downer—I've never really enjoyed him before, but he's so carefree and animated here that he's practically a cartoon. Despite being third billed, Redgrave is clearly the star of the movie; she and Mason were nominated for Oscars, as was the immensely catchy title song (tragically, it lost to "Born Free"). Rating: 4/5.

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