This Week in the Box: A Streetcar Named Desire

streetcarnameddesireNote: This Week in the Box is a year-long series where Sam works through the entire Warner Brothers 50 Film Collection box set. To find reviews of the other films in the series and see the complete list, click here. Although I read a whole whack of Classic Literature in high school, and a couple plays were in that mix, I never managed to read anything by Tennessee Williams. Still haven’t, actually. My high school didn’t perform any of his works, nor did any nearby high schools where I might have gone to see a friend perform. Basically, coming in to this, I was a total Tennessee Williams neophyte. Except I wasn’t. Because I saw Blue Jasmine last summer, purely for awards-season reasons, as Cate Blanchett was talked about as the shoe-in for the Best Actress Oscar (which she won, more than six months later). At the time, people talked about how it was Woody Allen’s take on A Streetcar Named Desire, but other people brushed that aside. I remembered it being a Thing that was discussed, but didn’t take it seriously. Turns out, Blue Jasmine is pretty much exactly A Streecar Named Desire, at least in the first, oh, half an hour or more, which was plenty long enough for me to totally check out. I didn’t particularly like Blue Jasmine; I didn’t particularly like this either. I am not against talkiness, in a movie. I love the Before movies very much (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight), and those are three movies of two people walking around interesting places and talking and talking and talking. Streetcar is talky… in a very stagey, actorly way that I didn’t find particularly engaging at all. I mean, congratulations to Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando for playing convincingly unpleasant, annoying people, but they’re, well, unpleasant and/or annoying people and for some strange reason it didn’t endear them to me. I don’t have a lot to say about this movie. Blanche Dubois (Vivien Leigh) shows up at her sister Stella’s place (Kim Hunter), who is in a relationship with Stanley (Marlon Brando), and they all talk a bunch. Blanche is annoying and delusional and Stanley is annoying and gruff. Stella tries to go between the two and succeeds, to a certain extent, but not enough to make her worth me remembering anything about her. Reading the Wikipedia entry for this film, it’s possible I actually fell asleep during the climax of the movie, because I don’t remember the pivotal scene it mentions at all, only the aftermath. If this were a current film or one that had more significance in my life, I would rewatch it and try to better understand it and maybe the pivotal scene would make me feel feelings. As it is, I don’t feel the need to give it any more of my time than this 500(ish) words. Not particularly recommended

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: This Week in the Box: An Overview | An Inanimate F*cking Blog

  2. Pingback: This Week in the Box: An American in Paris | An Inanimate F*cking Blog

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