Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

GEORGY GIRL

Big Face meets Big Bones: Alan Bates, Lynn Redgrave
GEORGY GIRL (1966). Director: Silvio Narizzano.

Georgina (Lynn Redgrave) is a homely, big-boned, schlumpy 22-year-old who lives with her ice princess roommate, Meredith (the well-cast Charlotte Rampling of Asylum), who has a nutty boyfriend named Jos (Alan Bates of An Unmarried Woman), Georgina gets a bizarre "business" proposition from James Leamington (James Mason) -- her father is Leamington's major domo -- who wants her to become his official mistress; obviously big bones and messiness turn him on. But Georgy is much more attracted to Jos, who has gotten Meredith pregnant and may marry her ... what's a big-boned girl to do? It's hard to believe that this movie was once popular, because the only thing really memorable about it is the amusing theme song performed by the Seekers. Redgrave and Georgy are irritating to the extreme; Bates seems to think he's acting in a cartoon; Mason, demeaned by his role, doesn't seem to know where the hell he is or what he's doing; and Rampling, of all people, comes off best in her steely portrait of a cold, unrepentant bitch. The "mod" approach of the film severely dates it, and everyone seems horribly miscast. Not a single character is remotely sympathetic. Aside from the theme song, the one thing that stands out is a wonderful shot of a dog standing stock still (for a while) as a funeral procession goes by. Things pick up a bit for the very ending, but by then it's too late. This is not only stupid and unfunny, but tedious. Incredibly, Redgrave [Last of the Mobile Hot Shots], who is not that good, was nominated for a best actress Oscar [Mason was nominated for supporting actor even though this is one of his least memorable roles] and won the Golden Globes.

Verdict: Play the tune and skip the movie. *1/2.

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