I wasn't planning on writing a review of this film until I read so many negative remarks of Jean Seberg's performance. Having read about Ms. Seberg's life, I couldn't help from thinking that her character, Cecile, might have experienced some of the conflicts that Seberg encountered in real life. Unlike some other reviewers, I felt that Seberg's performance added value to a production that would have otherwise lost my interest. And, yes, I liked looking at her too, even though I always felt that her boyish haircut failed to bring out the full dimensions of her feminine beauty.
The picturesque locale on the French Riviera was visually appealing, and the opulent society depicted was very stylish and glossy, even to the ostentatious point of driving huge late 50's Chryslers in France, but these attributes would not have kept me awake as the hour grew late. As much as I like Deborah Kerr, she wasn't enough to prevent me from turning away from the film, but Seberg and the intelligent, often profound words given to her by the writers maintained my curiosity. Niven's "aging playboy" character, on the other hand, was much too disagreeable and hackneyed to interest me for very long.
While Cecile never abandoned the fashionable life of wealth and high social status that she had inherited, she did seriously pause to question its artificiality, shallowness, and insincerity. Unlike most of the members of the privileged class that surrounded her on all sides, she recognized the emptiness of their values and priorities. In reading about Seberg's own life, she made the very same observations of Hollywood, stating at one point, "I never knew until I came here (to Hollywood) that someone could be really nice to you for years and hate your guts." So the young woman from Marshalltown, Iowa, who had been chosen by Otto Preminger out of 18,000 hopefuls to play "Saint Joan", finally made it to the glamorous world of fame and fortune, only to meet a very tragic end at a very young age. Like Cecile, Jean entered the flashy world of the beautiful people only to find immense dissatisfaction and sorrow in the end. I couldn't help from believing that Ms. Seberg strongly identified with the inner discord of her character, which made her performance all the more powerful and meaningful to me.
Drama / Romance
Drama / Romance
Cecile, decadent young girl who lives with her rich playboy father Raymond. When Anne, Raymond's old love interest, comes to Raymond's villa, Cecile is afraid for her way of life.
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June 26, 2017 at 07:07 AM