Saturday, November 28, 2009

Latest Oscar-nominee seen: The Dresser (1983)

I love theatre. I really do, well who doesn’t? That’s why I really-really wanted to see The Dresser. I never managed to do so until yesterday, because I could not find it anywhere, and after all I said “Who cares?”. But thanks to kkiimmiissiipp on Youtube for making it possible for me to finally watch it (thanks again).
This movie is to do with a theatre group who play the plays of Shakespeare. Of, course it has an old star (Albert Finney), who’s health is just getting worse and worse. So the firm and flamboyant dresser (Tom Courtney) has to get him (somehow) to act.
The main problem with the screenplay (written by the great Ronald Harwood) is that it’s to theatrical, I always felt as if I was watching an excellent play and not an actual movie. This story fits more to the stage.
However the cast is flawless: Albert Finney is one of my favorite actors ever (it’s the shame of the Academy that he is not an Oscar winner), I loved his performances in Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, Tom Jones, Murder on the Orient Express and Erin Brokovich and The Dresser is no exception. He’s so brilliant, every time he started to talk my knees were just shaking, he was so damn good.
However, I found Tom Courtney to be better by a hair. Until the very last scene, I preferred Finney, but Courtney’s last monologue was so cathartic, and I felt really sorry for his character (SPOILER! : I mean this guy had to deal with all the problems of this very problematic guy and he wasn’t even thankful). So I would have given the award to Tom Courtney. So he’s my winner at the moment, but I have Robert Duvall, the actual winner to see, so I’m not making a judgment right now.
Someone was cruelly snubbed: she’s called Eileen Atkins. I mean come on, Amy Irving gets nominated for Yentl (WTF??!!) and the magnificent Dame Eileen was snubbed. Too bad.
I did not have any problems with the rest of the cast but they could not match the excellence of the actors mentioned above.
The directing was also excellent, it really deserved the nomination and so did the movie. But definitely not the win, because I feel that the directing award should have gone to Ingmar Bergman and Terms of Endearment deserved Best Picture in my opinion.
So to the avid lovers of theatre and Oscar nerds it’s a must-see movie, to all the people it’s only should-see. Well done.
My grade: 8/10
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Director (Peter Yates); Best Actor (Tom Courtney; Albert Finney); Best Adapted Screenplay
My wins: At the moment, Tom Courtney