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A Matter of Life and Death

Posted by martinteller on April 13, 2008

So, so close to being a perfect film. It’s beautiful, witty, touching, inventive, and life-affirming. The performances are all endearing, Cardiff’s handling of color (and monochrome) is astounding as usual, the set design is wonderful, the idea of it is intriguing, it all comes together exquisitely. It’s marvelous, definitely my favorite film by Powell & Pressburger, and one that encourages me to revisit their other works. But there is one thing that keeps it from perfection. The film was commissioned to smooth over relations between Britain and America, and it shows. Boy, does it show. The trial scene, in which the virtues and flaws of the two countries and their feelings toward each other are explored, feels like it belongs to an entirely different movie. It’s awkward and transparent and just plain wrong. I mean, I appreciate the sentiment, but it seems like it belongs in an educational reel or something. Other than that scene, though, I was really thrilled. Rating: 9

IMDb
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One Response to “A Matter of Life and Death”

  1. […] 129. A Matter of Life and Death (1946, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger) […]

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