Getting close to the end! Here is the final review of the movies that both Tyler and I watched together: All About Eve.
Since this film is considered a classic, it brings along with it its own set of expectations, not to mention the fact that it holds very high spots on many “Greatest Movies of All-Time” lists, including the AFI 100, where it held #16 in 1997 and #28 when they updated the list in 2007. And also not to mention that it won several Oscars the year that it was released including Best Picture and Best Director. So what did I think of this film after viewing it? Eh. It’s good. Not great, just good. Honestly, I should probably see it again since I was not in the best shape to watch this film when I did. I was completely exhausted from sleep deprivation and constantly nodding off as even the greatest acting in the world can’t make 2-hour and 20 minutes of dialogue riveting enough for me to stay awake while that exhausted. But since I haven’t seen it since this last summer, we’ll just have to do with my half-conscious perceptions of what I saw.
If this story wasn’t common in 1950 when this film was made, it’s certainly common now. The story is about an ambitious up-and-coming young actress named Eve who befriends a veteran actress of the stage named Margo Channing (played by legendary actress Bette Davis). Eve eventually becomes Margo’s personal valet and starts to essentially take over her life, stealing friends and parts from her as Margo becomes more and more paranoid about Eve’s intentions for taking over her career and life.
The acting is the best part of this movie. The acting might actually save this movie. While the script is well-written, it’s not necessarily very memorable; that can probably be chalked up to the fact that this story has been done to death. Fame-starved wanna-be actress competing with a veteran actress past her prime. This is not a new concept and probably wasn’t when it was released. However, Bette Davis is awesome in this movie. She is able to infuse the necessary amount of humanity into the character of Margo, who is ultimately a haughty, paranoid b—-, and therefore should be rather unlikeable. She never becomes unlikeable because of Davis’s performance. Instead, you feel sorry for her. It’s also rather refreshing to have a character who is aware of what a twat she’s being. Probably my favorite scene in the movie takes place in a car that has broken down on the road (it has actually been sabotaged by Margo’s best friend who thinks that Eve should have a chance to make it big and so needs to stop Margo getting to the rehearsal, blah blah blah, it’s very complicated and I don’t remember if I got the details right at all). This scene is so good because it adds dimension to Margo’s character. She has a long monologue where she expresses that she knows she’s getting old and therefore her career may be losing relevance. She wonders if maybe she should move on to other more appropriate parts. It’s a well-written scene that’s beautifully performed by Davis and is the highlight of the film due to the dimension and depth it reveals in Margo, who up until that point had been treating her friends badly and generally being a horrible person.
However, apart from a great performance from Bette Davis and good performances from the rest of the cast, there’s not much else about this film worth writing about. It feels a lot like a play, and while I tend to enjoy films that have a theatrical feel to them, many people don’t. But it is a classic, and certainly worth a look for the performances, especially that of Bette Davis, but other than that, it was a very “meh” kind of film.
Final Rating: 7/10
2 more reviews to go! Next: Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain!