Martin Teller's Movie Reviews

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Posted by martinteller on June 23, 2009

The type of movie that seems like it was generated by a computer programmed to win Oscars.  3 hours long, directed by an actor, big name stars, period drama/romance, social issues with a liberal slant.  Even though it’s an obvious grab for a golden eunuch statue, it’s okay.  Storaro’s cinematography is serviceable, but not nearly as impressive as his work on The Conformist.  I’d also say Louise Bryant (as played by Diane Keaton) is somewhat unsympathetic… she abandons her first husband at the drop of a hat (who cares about a boring old dentist, am I right?  I’d like to see a whole movie just about this guy) for John Reed, with whom she’s incredibly wishy-washy.  Despite her own affair with Eugene O’Neill, she pouts about Reed’s flings and storms out… only to hook up with him again the second he becomes a Bolshevik superstar.  She does kind of come into her own towards the end, but never really seems to be anything more than Reed’s accessory.  There’s some pretty good dialogue (especially a bristling confrontation between Keaton and Nicholson) and Beatty is fair enough to point out the failings of the Communist Revolution, both at home and abroad.  But nothing about the film really excels, except Maureen Stapleton’s performance… too bad there wasn’t a spin-off Emma Goldman movie.  Rating: 6


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