(gb) wrote: Thoroughly Modern Millie was a film I wanted to see simply because it starred the talented Julie Andrews in the lead role and because she proves time and time again to be flawless in musical cinema.Thoroughly Modern Millie is brimming with infectious energy. The film is a lighthearted one which is very energetic. I don't find this with many musical films, but the instant that Mary Tyler Moore entered the screen and went into a dance sequence with Julie Andrews, I just fell in love with both of them. I always loved Julie Andrews since Mary Poppins and I enjoyed Mary Tyler Moore in Ordinary People, and when they teamed up to sing and dance in Thoroughly Modern Millie I just got completely sucked into it. I'm not the biggest fan of musical films, but Thoroughly Modern Millie instantly caught my attention and from there I knew that I was going to enjoy watching it.Thoroughly Modern Millie succeeds because it has such loveable characters, consisting mainly of a duo of the sweetest and friendliest girls around. And the film touches upon the dramatic aspects of the main characters being women in a society which doesn't treat them equally, but instead of droning on about how it upsets the characters it simply reveals it and then moves along. The dramatic dynamics in Thoroughly Modern Millie do not make it descend out of its lighthearted mood, but it does allow the audience to think about the situations the characters face and then sympathise for them even more, making Thoroughly Modern Millie an even more compelling film. While some of its energy decreased in the second half and the story got a little silly and felt like it was stretched on for a bit longer than it needed to be, it wasn't enough for me to say that I didn't enjoy Thoroughly Modern Millie.The catchy musical numbers in Thoroughly Modern Millie are just refreshing. The music has some kind of hypnotic magic because it is full of beautiful composition and is sung with such grace and beauty from the talented cast and it just got me feeling so happily energetic and giddy that I felt the need to get up and dance. The atmosphere in Thoroughly Modern Millie is just beautiful and leaks a kinetic energy to the audience which is likely to lift up your spirits and send you on a magical journey of music. The music feels like its straight of Broadway, and it makes the entire experience of Thoroughly Modern Millie feel more like an entertaining stage musical with certain qualities enhanced due to its medium of being cinematic.Visually, Thoroughly Modern Millie packs a lot of appeal as well.For one thing, the cinematography moves along very smoothly and is shot in such a style that makes Thoroughly Modern Millie feel like even more of an exceptional stage show than it already does, so the camerawork manages to enhance the experience. And against the backdrop of excellent scenery, bright art direction and great costumes, Thoroughly Modern Millie is a treat on the eyes with a wide colour palette.Really, Thoroughly Modern Millie is an entertaining, fun and very funny musical film. Sure, it has its bumps, but it stays well true to its roots and comes out as a very entertaining product, and riding the skill of George Roy Hill as director and Richard Morris' well constructed screenplay, it proves very entertaining.When it boils down to it though, the most appealing element of Thoroughly Modern Millie is the incredible talents of its cast.Julie Andrews is completely flawless in Thoroughly Modern Millie. Time and time again she proves herself to be an excellent actress as well as a great woman of song and dance. Every time I watch her on screen I find myself blown away by her, and in Thoroughly Modern Millie it was no exception. She really deserved an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in Thoroughly Modern Millie, because she stayed true to the title of the film and ensured that she characterised her character Millie as being "thoroughly modern.", and by incorporating her most exhilarating charms and her undeniable beauty into the role, Julie Andrews gives a performance which is practically perfect in every way, just like her iconic character Mary Poppins and her performance in the role. Julie Andrews is a lovable treat for the eyes and ears in Thoroughly Modern Millie, and her performance is hilariously witty and capitalises on the endeavor of all her talents as an actress of comedy, drama, romance and musical cinema. Julie Andrews'performance in Thoroughly Modern Millie is overwhelmingly incredible, and it just reaffirms my love for her.Mary Tyler Moore's spirit is excellent in Thoroughly Modern Millie. She captures the persona of an innocent and friendly yet fragile girl in Thoroughly Modern Millie, and she puts it into her spirit for singing and dancing and makes her light up the screen nearly as well as Julie Andrews. Her interaction with the situations in the film and the surrounding cast is excellent, and she proves the kind of talented spirit which would later get her to star in her own series, The Mary Tyler Moore show. Mary Tyler Moore is excellent in Thoroughly Modern Millie, very charming and lovable, and she shares a great chemistry with Julie Andrews which makes the experience a more fun one.Carol Channing enters about 45 minutes into the film, and in no time she is as likable as Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore. Her infectious charm and stage charisma has never been superior to her performance in Thoroughly Modern Millie. While she doesn't get as much screen time as you would hope, during the limited time she does receive she grasps the attention of the audience with her magnificent singing voice, her delightful dancing spirit and her beautiful smileJames Fox's performance is also a very well sophisticated one which combines his naturally charming charisma with the ability to interact with fellow cast members really organically, therefore making the feature more entertaining and compelling. James Fox is great in Thoroughly Modern Millie, and he shares a powerful chemistry with Julie Andrews which feels like it has a tenacious passion in it. He does a fine job.So riding George Roy Hill's great direction and some incredible performances led by the always marvellous Julie Andrews, Thoroughly Modern Millie is an infectiously entertaining musical film which has plenty of laughter and intelligent writing to make up for its length.
(au) wrote: "Everything dies, baby, that's a fact, maybe everything that dies some day comes back. Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty, and meet me tonight in Atlantic City". You don't realize how far back Lancaster's career goes until it hits you that he was already old in this film, yet this film is still older than that song. Nevertheless, I just had no choice but to make that reference in this case, because, Bruce Springsteen, in all of his liberalism, seems to be all about sharing American culture with foreigners. This film is not simply Canadian, but French-Canadian, although it shouldn't be too hard to tell that, because anyone from here can tell you that the real place to go for gambling in Las Vegas. Susan Sarandon is by no means a Canadian, but rather, so American that she's from Queens, so I can't believe that they managed to convince both her and Manhattan's own Burt Lancaster to go to New Jersey. I for one am glad that they because we got some seriously good performances and a seriously good film out of their betrayal, and yet, it still stands to carry a little more maple (That's for you Canucks out there who, I don't know, consume maple like juice), at least to development. You don't get much immediate insight into the background of the characters and their stories, and gradual exposition is a little questionable, being barely that much of an issue by its own right in this generally well-characterized drama, but still falling before conflicts which might feel melodramatic without the character motivations' being tightly fleshed out in the context of the narrative. I can't entirely buy in on the film, and it doesn't help that it doesn't sell all that much unique material, at least consistently, having some refreshingly tasteful spots to punctuate a formulaic-feeling gangster and romantic-drama plot, whose familiarity is blanding enough when not accompanied by dry spells. Although the thoughtfulness to Louis Malle's storytelling pays off in the long run, this drama is nonetheless predominantly subdued in its atmosphere, and although that is rarely, if ever all that boring, it leads to cold spells in resonance and bland spots in entertainment value upon Malle's running out of material to draw upon with his meditativeness. Running just a little over 100 minutes, this film really isn't that long, let alone all that overlong, but it does drag its feet just enough to get repetitious, and even uneven, with too many layers to juggle all that organically. Jarring from one segment to the next, and bringing certain characters in and out of the mix, the storytelling gets to feeling, not simply unevenly focused, but all-out unfocused, and it really doesn't need to be, yet it still chooses to devolve to fat around the edges which actually stress how there should be only so much meat to storytelling to begin with. There are some natural shortcomings to this crime drama of surprisingly limited consequence, and if there is depth, then it is drawn out by inspiration found on and off of the screen, and challenged by questionable structuring and pacing which threaten reward value. The final product ultimately secures your investment pretty firmly through all of its shortcomings, both consequential and natural, as it delivers on plenty of inspiration, even offscreen. Louis Malle's only moderately European sensibilities at least compliment the subtle aesthetic value of this film, by placing Richard Ciupka's well-lit cinematographic lensing over a tasteful exploration of the lovely location of Atlantic City, and therefore keeping your eyes occupied, until all of the thoughtful storytelling pays off by overcoming dry spells through lightly powerful touches. The delicate tone of this drama is a little repetitious and blanding, but when it works, it pierces, subtly, but surely resonating and salvaging as much depth as it can from a narrative of only so much momentum, even in concept. The crime-themed tensions and, for that matter, dramatic intensity of this subject matter (There are a few shocking turn of events that seem to be brushed off as moderate inconveniences) go played down in this often conventional story concept, thus, the natural shortcomings stand firm, but through all of them and the consequential shortcomings is promising themes about age, new love, being a protector, escapism and the dangers of the crime world, and despite their going obscured by the missteps, they go brought to life by both Malle and John Guare. Guare's script may be unevenly structured and periodically formulaic, to where it offers only so much material for Malle to draw upon with his thoughtfulness, but it is clever, with memorable dialogue and some subtle twists in formula which keep you guessing as to what's the come. Only so much is fleshed out in Guare's script, yet once the writer does latch onto important aspects of storytelling, he milks them for all their worth, and that particularly goes for distinguished characterization. Even then, the characterization may feel so distinguished because the performances are so inspired, and that particularly goes for leads Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon, whose subtle, nuanced portrayal of an old man finding a new grip on life, and a young woman seeking a new life, respectively, and whose solid chemistry, drive much of the heart of this character drama. Quite frankly, most all of the strengths of the film are subtle, but they stand firm enough in quantity and resonance to transcend shortcomings and reward the patient. Bottom line, there's a touch too much underdevelopment to sell certain histrionics, in addition to a few conventions, and too many dry spells for you to disregard the uneven excesses to the telling of a narrative of only so much consequence, but there's also enough inspired direction, writing and acting to bring life to intriguing subject matter, and secure Louis Malle's "Atlantic City" as a generally quite compelling crime drama. 3/5 - Good