In a world saturated by action movies with hyper realistic CGI, it can be hard to take a step back and watch older movies, particularly black and white ones. Despite the fact that our movies look better than ever, it can be said that the quality of stories has gone down. Over winter break, I had the chance to watch an older movie which had one of the best stories I’ve seen in a long time. The black and white film, All About Eve, was made in 1950, and nominated for 14 academy awards, winning 6 of them. I had heard a lot about this movie in the past, but had never seen it for myself. Thankfully, Netflix has this movie in its selection, and I’m glad I took the time to see it.
Without giving away much about the story—seeing as the story is what truly makes this movie worth watching—I can say that if you watched and enjoyed Birdman movie, then you will likely enjoy this movie as well. The beginning is subtly crafted, revealing the majority of the plot, but only if you are able to see all the facts. Despite being a bit jarring, it’s refreshing to watch a movie that trusts you to follow along. It doesn’t make crazy jumps in logic, or have major plot holes, it merely movies quickly through the story they’re trying to tell. Each scene is given the same care as the beginning, carefully choosing the words and actions of each character. The interesting part of this movie is the see the transformation of the characters from beginning to end; not only as individuals but with each other. In fact, I would say that the changes the characters experience are collectively more important than on their own.
While I love this movie, I would say there are a few things I could criticize it for. I think it has some slightly outdated views of marriage and other areas of life. These views are consistent with 1950’s America, so you just need to keep that in mind. It’s moments like this that show the age of this movie. I will also say that many times you will be utterly frustrated with the main characters, though I believe that this was probably intentional. Perhaps what makes it most annoying is that I believe we all know people who act exactly as they do.
I wish I could say more, but it truly would lessen the experience. The last thing I can say is that everyone with even a slight interest in stories of movies, or film theory needs to check this out. Go to Netflix, set aside some time, and this truly beautiful movie.