I watched just four movies last week:
- I have vague memories of reading at least parts of Helen Keller’s autobiography when I was much younger, so it was interesting to see how much more The Miracle Worker is the story of Anne Sullivan. Both Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke won Oscars for their performances, but the movie very much belongs to Bancroft.
- The Greatest Night in Pop tells the story of the making of “We Are the World” in more exhaustive detail than you might think necessary, but it’s actually often fascinating, from the madness of how it all came together, to all the behind-the-scenes footage that didn’t wind up in the original music video.
- The contrivance on which I Confess hangs might now seem a little shopworn, but the movie is helped enormously by Hitchcock’s direction on Montgomery Clift’s performance.
- The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman can’t help but betray its 1970s TV budget, from the not entirely convincing old-age makeup to the episodic way the story unfolds. But it’s an engaging, unflinching story, held together by a strong performance by Cicely Tyson.
I also re-watched Gorillas in the Mist, which I haven’t seen since the year it came out, over thirty years ago now. It holds up well, thanks largely to Sigourney Weaver’s central performance, though it could be argued the movie doesn’t actually tell us a lot about Dian Fossey.