Sunday, October 25, 2009

Latest Oscar-nominee seen: The Bad Seed (1956)

This was a shocking movie. Its start was a bit slow, maybe even dull, but it turned out to be an excellent drama and an exciting thriller.
I cannot tell you the plot without telling any spoilers, so let me just say it was full of surprises and the ending was shocking as hell
The cast includes the actors from the original Broadway play: Nancy Kelly playes the devastated mother (brilliantly), who fears that her daughter might not be as perfect and neat as she seems to be. Patty McCormack's performance as the strong-willed, stubborn and vicious girl, Rhoda, who you would slap on the face as soon as it's possible. The little girl really nailed this part. This might even be the best child performance ever (tied with Tatum O'Neal in Paper Moon).
The supporting cast is brilliant also, but I have to mention Eileen Heckart. She is so brilliant (well, as always), I was literally speechless after I saw her two scenes. She's on the screen for only ten minutes or so (I could not count it), but she's like a bomb. I'm not saying that this performance is better than the one she gave in Butterflies are Free, but it's really close.
Melvyn Leroy's direction is also excellent, the screenplay is good. I just have one thing against this movie. Sometimes I just felt as if I was in a theatre, the performances tended to be a bit theatrical. In this case I would not say it's a serious drawback, but It should have been a bit less theatrical.
As I said it's full of surprises and sometimes it's really harrowing. It's not a must-see film, only a should-see, but it's really great entertainment.
My grade 8.5/10 Great, but not brilliant.
Nominations: Best Actress (Nancy Kelly), Best Supporting Actress (Patty McCormack, Eileen Heckart), Best Cinematography Black-and-White
My wins: Best Supporting Actress: Don't make me choose between Eileen and Patty, so it's a tie. Maybe Eileen by a hair, but NO SHUT UP! Both of them.

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