The voyage through 80s cinema continues. (Check out: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI).
Working Girl (1988)
Directed by Mike Nichols
Recommended by Oscars (6 noms, including best song win) Jeremy, Will
I thought this was a great film. Apart from the fact that 20 years later the role of women in the workforce has surely changed and probably a decrease in the number of "administrative assistants", the issues at hand are not fully dated. Many businesses and sectors still remain male dominated, and far more than gender issues, this film deals with office humor, and office humor is always funny to anyone who's worked in an office.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this film, this is the type of film that as a male you have to feel secure about checking out from the library, I certainly felt silly carrying it out. The performances of course are great, I am honestly surprised Joan Cusack scored an Oscar nod for this bit-size comic role that largely is pure 80s as a result of her bad hair and make-up. Melanie Griffith is great and plays such a likeable character. I joked with my wife that man women think they're Tess McGill, extremely intelligent and only disadvantaged among peers because of their good looks, and if given the chance could really show their stuff ("I have a head for business and a bod for sin.")
The Big Blue (Le Grand bleu)(1988)
Directed by Luc Besson
Recommend by Heather & Adam
Although Adam said not to watch the director's cut, I did. And there I'm sure is a big difference between the 118 minute version and 168 minute version. There's a handful of weird things that are going on here, that somehow you're just able to excuse. The rivalry between Enzo (Jean Reno) and Jaques Mayol (Jean-Marc Barr), Jaques dolphin-lovin', Jacques awkward silence and facial expressions, Johana (Rosanna Arquette) and her weird job that is investigating insurance fraud that leads her to South America and her fraud that takes her to Torino, her instant obsession, and Jacques continued obsession with Dolphins.
Yet...despite all the weirdness, the film is shot so beautifully and the intrigue of the deep water diving is enough to keep you watching and intrigued. I'm not sure how I feel about the ending, I'm sure it's beautiful in it's own way, but also falls in line with the weirdness previously mentioned. Jean Reno is fantastic in this film, and I love his and enjoy his character. Barr and Arquette are also good, and really the three main characters all really get an exceptional opportunity to develop their unique and illogical characters, in such a pleasant and entertaining way.
The Natural (1984)
Directed by Barry Levinson
Recommended by Oscar (4 nominations), AK, Kat, & Heather
I feel like the Natural is one of those movies you're supposed to love. You're supposed to love Robert Redford, the themes, the music. I think I like all these things, but because the theme and style of this film is so overplayed (including the theme music) it's hard to experience like you might imagine experiencing it for the first time in 1984. Glen Close has an excellent understated role.
The well principled sportsmen who gives his all, despite his age/race/past, and overcomes adversity in the final moments is overplayed I think the one unique quality of this film that separates it from other similar baseball/sports movies is it's discussion of the past and personal failings. While the movie paints a relatively optimistic view of redemption and honor, when Close delivers the lines "You know I think we have two lives...the life we learn with and the life we live with after that," it is certainly a powerful concept. I'm glad I've finally seen this movie the whole way through, although I think in the grand scheme of things has the unfortunate disadvantage of being a film that it's story was not unique enough to limit others from rewriting the same story a hundred different ways.