Here we continue, what will probably eventually become known as, the ill-fated journey of watching each of the British Film Institute’s 100 best films of the 20th Century. Starting at 100 and working my way to Orson Welles’ The Third Man at number 1. I’ll try to keep these blogs relatively spoiler free and I’ll consider them only a small record of moving through this series.
Returning after such a long break has been difficult, especially as it was Women in Love (87) that knocked me off course, a year ago. My first response to this film was how utterly dull it was. I suspect I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. I will admit I didn’t love it, but I did certainly enjoy it a lot more than I a) remembered enjoying the first 15 minutes last year, and b) expected to this time. This 1969 period romantic drama set in 1920 features future Labour MP Glenda Jackson (who won the Best Actress Oscar for the role – and whom I developed the biggest crush on throughout the film), contemporary hell-raiser Oliver Reed, virtual newcomer Jennie Linden, and the excellent Alan Bates as two couples that have very different outcomes to their relationships. While the film has dated and feels slow and stilted the scenes between Reed and Bates crackle with homoerotic ambiguity.