Thursday, 3 February 2011

Sleuth - 1972

I recently had the pleasure of watching Sleuth – I refer not to the recent Jude Law version, but the original (I have not yet seen the remake). It’s a fantastic and quite unusual film, with a top performance from Michael Caine and a masterly, masterly performance from the late great Laurence Olivier as the hammy, eccentric Andrew Wyke.

The thing is about this film (if you have not had the pleasure) is that there are only two actors in the entire two-and-a-bit hours of screentime. There are no special effects, blue screens, or CGI. Not only that, but the dialogue is rich and varied enough to cover several entire encyclopaedic volumes of script. Where have films like this gone? Where have the disappeared to? Why were the best films made in the 1970s? What happened before or since that time to create such an artistic malaise? Or is it simply a case of certain conditions within that decade creating a film-making paradigm of utopia beyond the usual limits of quality?

Anyway, if you haven’t seen it already – find yourself a copy…

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