So I was really expecting to love this movie. But I didn't. And the blame solidly falls on the shoulders of Ingrid Bergman. I don't like her. A few weeks ago, I watched Indiscreet with her in it. And I didn't like her in that one. My mom said it was just because her name's not Hepburn or Day, but now that I've watched this one, I can tell you that's not true. I just don't like Ingrid Bergman. She spent half of Gaslight looking like a man in drag. And I know that technically that's not her fault, it's the fault of the wardrobe person. But her mannerisms don't help. She's a clompy walker throughout the movie, like she's uncomfortable walking in the long skirts. She doesn't move gracefully in the film, even while sitting, and it only made her more unfeminine in the gorgeous fashions of the Victorian era.
And when you compare her acting the that of the people around her, it was subpar. Charles Boyer as the husband is believably creepy. From the very beginning, I just knew there was something wrong with the guy. I also really liked Joseph Cotten as well. He played the Brian Cameron, the Scotland Yard Inspector that reopens the investigation into the aunt's murder. He essentially stalks the niece during the movie but you can tell that he's the good guy. This character has to walk a very fine line. He was a huge fan of the aunt's and is so curious about the case. He knows that in order to get answers he has to figure out what's going on with the niece and husband. So he pretty much stalks them. But in a situation and setting where he could have easily gone from being the good guy to being a bad guy trying to be a good guy, there's just no question in the movie ever that he's going to be the hero of the story. And Angela Lansbury was in the movie, it was her first movie role in fact. She's really good. I'm not sure that I've seen her in anything (other than her voice in Beauty and the Beast) but she's really good. I think I might seek out some other movies with her in them. She plays the maid who has "ideas above her station" as the constable tells Brian. You could mute the scenes that she's in and still be able to tell exactly what's going on by her facial expressions and body language. But Ingrid Bergman was stiff through the movie. I didn't feel all that sympathetic towards her. She doesn't play crazy very well, and it felt like through the movie she was fighting to cover her accent and do a poor job of it. Her Swedish accent came and went. She should have just gone with it and not tried to fight it. The vanishing accent took away from her character for me.
By the time I got to the finale of the movie, I was ready for her to really shine. But it ended up being Meh. The story was suspenseful and engaging. And the director used the staging to really set the mood. The lighting's absolutely perfect. And the way that he used the fog was just amazing. It totally immerses you in the environment that these characters are in. I wanted to be sympathetic and feel something for Paula, and in the finale she really has a chance to just pull everything together and shake things up. But it didn't feel real to me. I never connected with her and Ingrid Bergman didn't play crazy in the final scene well at all. It was a horrible let down. Everyone else pulled off their character excellently. Ingrid Bergman ruined it. Gotta check out the earlier version of Gaslight; it's changed some from this version and has different actors. After I watch it I'll let you know how the two compare.
Talk at you later.
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