Sunday, 22 November 2009

Lions And Tigers And Bears? No, Ta.

As part of our Friday screenings, we've watched a shortlist of five films which are considered to be The Best Movies EVER. Admittedly, I wasn't terribly thrilled when I found out what they were- of all of them, the only one I actually liked/had seen all the way through was Citizen Kane. However I figured I'd watch 'em all with an open mind and choose one I didn't know so well.

I first saw The Wizard of Oz when I was about 5... I don't remember too much about it, though, so I was keen to see it again from a grown-up's perspective.

I really wish I'd stuck with not remembering much and left the film in the past. It was PAINFUL. Don't get me wrong, I like 'happy' films. I'm a total Disneyphile. But The Wizard of Oz was soooo sugary I near enough slipped into a diabetic coma. The sets looked as if a good sneeze would blow them over, never mind a tornado. Yes, the film was made in 1939, but Citizen Kane was released only two years later and technically it's far, far superior. Oz looked like a crappy budget theme park and I never found myself being immersed in the film at all.

The acting is so mannered and unconvincing, it's difficult to engage with the characters at any point. I didn't really care if bratty Dorothy ever made it home or not. The characters all seemed like cardboard cut-outs with no depth whatsoever- they were as wooden as the shonky sets. One thing I do remember from childhood is being terrified of the dancing midgets... sorry, Munchkins... which is still true. I also felt like the whole moral of the film- "there's no place like home"- was a bit weak and there wasn't much of a plot. (Girl runs away- tries to get home- gets home- end). Overall then, a thumbs down from me. I'll stick with Return to Oz, thanks very much!

One thing I will say in the film's favour, though.... wasn't Toto cute???

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