Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
USA, 1981. Barclays Mercantile Industrial Finance, JRS Productions. Screenplay by Warren Beatty, Trevor Griffiths. Cinematography by Vittorio Storaro. Produced by Warren Beatty. Music by Stephen Sondheim. Production Design by Richard Sylbert. Costume Design by Shirley Russell. Film Editing by Dede Allen, Craig McKay. Academy Awards 1981. Boston Film Critics Awards 1981. Golden Globe Awards 1981. National Board of Review Awards 1981. New York Film Critics Awards 1981.
Warren Beatty‘s best film as director is this thrilling epic based on the true story of John Reed. Reed was a politically active journalist whose fascination with the rise of Communism led him to go to Russia and learn all he could about the revolution in order to bring its philosophies back home to the United States. Diane Keaton, in one of her most thrilling performances, plays Louise Bryant, a respectable married woman who dumps her husband in a flash when she is inspired by Reed’s work and falls in love with him. Of course, neither of them are particularly warmed up to in America, particularly during a time when the government starts investigating anybody in ownership of a red sweater as a suspected communist. The film features rich cinematography by Vittorio Storaro, exciting performances and even factual interviews with figures who met the real Reed and had something to do with the actual experience. Jack Nicholson has a great supporting role as playwright Eugene O’Neill, with whom Bryant became involved during one of her off periods from Reed. A great epic for the modern age, intelligent and invigorating.