Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Whales of August
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An idyllic, but poignant reminder that life is precious, life is short, and every moment 
should be savored with grace, 
gratitude, and acceptance.

A perfect vehicle for taking stock of our own lives as we approach the start of another New Year.

2 comments:

  1. I particularly loved the performance of Lillian Gish who was 94 when this film was made in 1987. Her career as an actress began in 1910!

    Bette Davis, who was 75 at the time, had suffered a stroke the year before this picture was made. One side of her face remained paralyzed. I know many feel Miss Davis became a ludicrous caricature of herself in latter years, but in this film she plays her part with remarkable integrity.

    Over the years I've seen much virtue in many of Davis' films. Of Human Bondage, her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Little Foxes, The Corn is Green, and Now Voyager come easily to mind.

    The Whales of August was her last film. Her performance as the stingy, cantankerous, hard-hearted sister embittered by ill health and memories of failed relationships seems stiff and mannered at first, but shows great depth as the drama unfolds.

    Lillian Gish probably gave the greatest performance of her life as the good-natured, long-suffering sister with a bright, creative, wholesome outlook on life burdened with the care of her cantankerous sister.

    Ann Sothern and Vincent Price surprised me with their brilliant characterizations in supporting roles. Hollywood rarely gave its stars the chance to show the full range of their talent.

    The idyllic setting -- an old summer cottage on a small island off the rockbound coast of Maine -- is well worth the price of admission on its own.

    I hope you enjoy the movie. I found it beautiful, filled with subtlety and very touching.

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