Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
United Kingdom/USA, 1967. Laser Film Corporation, Ulysses Film Production. Screenplay by Fred Haines, Joseph Strick, based on the novel by James Joyce. Cinematography by Wolfgang Suschitzky. Produced by Joseph Strick. Music by Stanley Myers. Production Design by Graham Probst. Costume Design by Betty Long. Film Editing by Reginald Mills.
Joseph Strick set himself no mean task when he decided to take on an adaptation of James Joyce’s famously unfilmable (and for many people, unreadable) novel, often labelled the work that gave birth to twentieth century modernism in literature. It plots loosely through the lives of an Irish town on a single day, mainly focusing on the goings on of poetically-minded Stephen Daedelus, the much-discriminated against Jewish Harold Bloom (Milo O’Shea) and Barbara Jefford as Bloom’s philandering wife. Their desires, frustrations and passions are displayed through narration, fantasy and cold reality, all of it combined in a very difficult but surprisingly smooth and polished film experience that doesn’t feel nailed to the page: Strick uses the possibilities of film to make something really cinematic out of Joyce’s prose. Whether or not it will actually please the viewer really depends on your mood and desire to see it; some will be inspired, others enraged. Look for a young Fionnula Flanagan.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Adapted Screenplay
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best English Language Foreign Film