Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
United Kingdom, 1965. Joseph Janni Production, Vic Films Productions. Screenplay by Frederic Raphael, based on an idea by Frederic Raphael, John Schlesinger, Joseph Janni. Cinematography by Kenneth Higgins. Produced by Joseph Janni. Music by John Dankworth. Production Design by Ray Simm. Costume Design by Julie Harris. Film Editing by Jim Clark.
A fashion model and actress (Julie Christie) works her way up to the big time by having affairs with all the right men and leaving behind everyone who truly loves her, only to get to the top and realize that it’s all empty and meaningless. This highly stylized film, shot at the pinnacle of the swinging sixties in London by budding filmmaker John Schlesinger, is a dated but thoroughly entertaining look at the downsides of show business. Christie is mesmerizing, and won an Oscar for her work, but it was only the beginning of a great actress’s rise to the pinnacle of her abilities and not the great zenith the award would suggest. Dirk Bogarde is also excellent as Christie’s spurned lover, while Roland Curram steals scenes as her gay best friend (and sometimes romantic rival for hot, anonymous beach boys). Great photography and costumes and a smart script by Frederic Raphael, though it’s pretty shallow compared to some of the other films from the period (including Two For The Road, also by Raphael) that attempted to deconstruct the supposedly modern, free-thinking mindset of the time.
Academy Awards: Best Actress (Julie Christie); Best Original Story and Screenplay; Best Costume Design-BW
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Director (John Schlesinger)
Golden Globe Awards: Best Actress-Drama (Julie Christie); Best Foreign Film
Nominations: Best Director (John Schlesinger)