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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on September 22, 2007

I’m getting a little burnt out on movies right now.  After a string of subtitled dramas, I needed something that I didn’t have to concentrate on too much.  So I decided to go for the Mike Nichols’ first two movies double-header.  First up is one I haven’t seen for a while.  Not exactly light entertainment — this is a brutal, intense adaptation of Albee’s brilliant play.  Where Scenes from a Marriage is a slow burn, this is more like a tempest in a teacup.  Of course, Scenes is more grounded in reality whereas Woolf takes it a little over the top, but not into the realm of implausibility.  When the film reaches its climax, we are as devastated by the events as the characters are.  It’s a terribly cynical look at marriage, and yet there’s still a small ray of ambiguous hope at the end.  Burton and Taylor are absolutely magnificent, George Segal is pretty good, unfortunately Sandy Dennis isn’t that hot.  Perhaps it’s just because her character is meant to be annoying, but her drunk acting (and this entire movie is drunk acting) doesn’t ring true.  Rating: 9


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