Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Country Girl. C


'The Country Girl' has some nice performances and few solid numbers, but there's a reason it's not considered a classic. The movie, heavy on melodramatics, wears the viewer down as the characters fight with one another for essentially the entire running time of 107 minutes (the film also really drags and like it's well over two hours). They show hardly any compassion and at times it gets to the point where they don't even seem human. The story centers around a once prestigious musical star Frank (Bing Crosby), his bitter wife Georgie (Grace Kelly) and a theater director named Bernie Dodd (William Holden). Frank is trying to get his act together and the movie opens with him auditioning for Bernie's new play. We soon find out that he's been having great troubles off the stage. He's an alcoholic and is at odds with Georgie, who, as he tells Bernie, has just been getting over some severe problems herself. They were once a happy couple, as a flashback scene informs us, but after the death of their only son things simply went downhill. The good thing about 'The Country Girl' is that it doesn't sugarcoat anything. But it also goes overboard I think in its attempt to portray people raging against each other. It got to the point where it wasn't enjoyable to watch these actors go at it scene after scene. Another problem is that there is no moment of greatness to define the mood of the picture. All the scenes fit nicely together, but there isn't one that stood out among the rest. Everything was simply average. As for the acting, I probably enjoyed Bing Crosby the most out of the three leads. Grace Kelly, as much as I'm a fan of hers, overplayed her character and William Holden was simply unlikeable as Bernie. One can admire 'The Country Girl' for its realism. But to be great it needs more. This one just pushes the viewer down and doesn't bring them back up. It makes for a very unpleasant experience.

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