Film: The sting - Livre d'Or

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Film: The sting
Saturday, 01 November 2008 at 09:01 pm

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Reasons for watching it: cartesiandaemon lent me the dvd, so I assumed it's worth seeing. It turns out to be something of a classic too, but I'm a film philistine so I didn't know that.

Circumstances of watching it: I was cold and lacking in energy of a shabbat afternoon, so I wrapped myself in blankets and sat down to watch a film.

Verdict: The Sting is engaging and twisty.

The Sting is not at all a film I would have been drawn to had it not come with a recommendation. I'm basically not very interested in films about glamourous criminals, nor in actors my mother would think were attractive. Since I'm totally unfamiliar with the genre, I had no real expectations, but just got completely caught up in the story. I found myself sympathizing with the characters even though in a realistic setting they would be thoroughly unpleasant. And I was totally surprised by all the plot surprises! It was delicious when the identity of the assassin was revealed, and I was completely taken in by the whole plotline with the FBI, making the final section of the film a really effective emotional roller-coaster for me, even though in hindsight it should have been obvious. I also loved the way that Lonnegan was so cunning and untrusting, but was taken in by his own greed in the end. Yay!

I am reasonably immune to the charms of Redford and Newman, though they did have good hats, and there was certainly slashy potential there. And I definitely approve of actors who can act as well as looking pretty. I got a lot of the minor characters confused, but that's because I generally have a hard time telling men apart if they all have short hair and suits. The Irish accents were inconsistent, and I am not convinced there was any need for them to be there, but historically it's probably true that many criminal gangs of the period came from Irish backgrounds. Also, the thing with pinching random women's bums is not cute (would it have seemed cute in the 70s?!) It's not the film's fault that I don't like Jopplin's The entertainer, because it was overplayed by everyone who wanted to be cool when I was a teenager.

Anyway, I'm very glad I watched it, it was fun, and I'm one degree less hopelessly uncultured for having seen it.

Whereaboooots: Chicago
Moooood: cheerfulcheerful
Tuuuuune: Ghosting: Ricky's hand
Discussion: 5 contributions | Contribute something

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rysmiel: vacant and in pensive mood
Date:November 2nd, 2008 04:00 am (UTC)
7 hours after journal entry, 12:00 am (rysmiel's time)
I like heist/scam movies basically only when a) the victims are adequately unsympathetic and b) when it is primarily a triumph of intelligence, and not just twisty but cleverly twisty. The Sting more or less worked for me on that front. I do actually like The Entertainer but that much of it at one go leaves it stuck in my head for days.
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livredor: complicated
Date:November 2nd, 2008 08:04 am (UTC)
12 hours after journal entry, 09:04 am (livredor's time)
I thought The sting was fairly clever, but I'm such a child when I watch films, not knowing any of the conventions, that almost any plot twist looks clever to me! I don't really hate The entertainter, it's a nice piece of music in its own right. Just heard it way too many times, it's more or less the twentieth century equivalent of Vivaldi's Four seasons.
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friend_of_tofu: default
Date:November 2nd, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
17 hours after journal entry
It's a film I thought, years ago, that I'd really hate, but it's actually quite good. I guess watching it now is a nice tribute to Newman, at least.
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livredor: teapot
Date:November 3rd, 2008 06:11 am (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 07:11 am (livredor's time)
You know, I had somehow failed to notice until this comment that Newman had died recently. I thought it was just a coincidence that the Swedish Film Institute have a Newman retrospective going on at the moment. Shows how much I pay attention!

I do think any description of the film would have made me expect to hate it, it's about a ton of things I just do not care about, but just having it handed to me in a pile of films I ought to see, I got a lot out of it.
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cartesiandaemon: default
Date:November 3rd, 2008 01:20 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry
*hugs* Yay. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I didn't expect it to be really your sort of thing, but I find it just so charming that I think you'd like it anyway. (Caper movies are not especially my thing, but I do like them.) And if you haven't seen many films, it makes sense to see a variety.

It turns out to be something of a classic too, but I'm a film philistine so I didn't know that.

:) I wouldn't have known until I talked about it with people from university. I thought of it as a classic because it was old-ish, and complicated, and one my parents watched. But you perceive, that's not automatically a reliable guide :)

engaging and twisty.

Oh, yes. I watched it several times before I was sure I understood everything that had gone on. It's how I always describe it to people. (When I first watched it all the way through, indeed, I had no idea what was going to happen, so was really relieved at the ending, although everything happened so fast I barely had time to be ready for it.)

though they did have good hats,

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