Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Graduate. A

'The Graduate' is a classic and even if it's most appreciated by the people who saw it back in '67, I still love as a member of this generation. Some people have commented on how it's outdated and that the themes in it aren't nearly as resonant or relevant new as they were back then. If you read Roger Ebert's four star review of the film upon its release, he raved about how it was the year's funniest movie. When 'The Graduate' was restored and put back in theaters in 1997, Ebert still gave it a positive review, but wasn't nearly as enthusiastic as he had been before. Ebert claimed that it was 'stranded in an earlier age.' I admit that the movie is very sixties and that it's about that time period when young adults didn't really have any direction in life. So they rebelled. That's what the climax of the movie signifies. Is that final scene over-the-top? Absolutely. But it's also making a statement about life in that time. Apparently the bus that Dustin Hoffman and Katherine Ross ride off in wasn't included in the script. While they were shooting it happened to be in the vicinity, so director Mike Nichols just decided to get his people on it and end the movie that way. And even if the film is for a past generation, it's still brilliantly acted with a great script filled with awkward humor and real drama. And that Mrs. Robinson is a particularly nasty piece of work. In Ebert's 1997 review he thought otherwise. He ridiculed her daughter, made Hoffman's character Ben sound like a complete doof, and gave significant sympathy to that nasty piece of work. Ebert and I are clearly on a different page with this one. But I will agree with him that Anne Bancroft, who plays Mrs. Robinson, is very attractive. Then again it's not a surprise. She was only 36 when the movie was made.

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