Video Picks Archive
Reviews by Matt Heffernan <email@example.com>
This week my picks are The End of the Affair (1999 - ) and The Third Man (1949 - ).
The first pick this week was one of my favorite films from 1999, even if few other
critics thought so highly of it. Ralph Fiennes stars as Maurice Bendix, a novelist
who had an affair with Sarah Miles (Julianne Moore) during World War II. After the war (and the
relationship), her husband (Stephen Rea) asks Maurice to find out if Sarah is cheating
on him. Based on Graham Greene's novel, Neil Jordan's The End of the Affair tells
the story of the affair and the later investigation in parallel. Jordan masterfully
weaves this complex film together, creating an engrossing romantic drama. The leads
are exceptional (Moore was nominated for an
Academy Award), but Ian Hart
(The Closer You Get) really
stands out as the private investigator hired by Maurice. Roger Pratt also received
an Oscar nomination for his cinematography, but sadly this film came away empty-handed.
Hopefully, this film will finally find an audience on video, and I strongly
recommend seeing it.
When one speaks of films based on Graham Greene's writing, the second film is invariably the main focus. Carol Reed's masterpiece stars Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins, an American mystery novelist in Vienna, who is investigating the alleged death of his friend, Harry Lime (Orson Welles). Few noir films are this beautfiul, and few art films are this thrilling. Yet Reed created a deft combination of the two genres -- a film that flows and sings, shrieks and laughs. Greene is credited with writing the screenplay (based on a novella he developed with producer Alexander Korda, for the purpose of filming), but it is Welles himself who wrote the famous "Ferris Wheel" speech. On top of the brilliant filmmaking, Anton Karas wrote and performed the score on a single zither, including the now-famous "Harry Lime Theme". The addition of this haunting music completes the perfection of The Third Man.
For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
The End of the Affair (1999)
The Third Man (1949)
Guide to Star Ratings
Capsule Reviews © 2000 Matt Heffernan