The month of May is here, and with it comes that annual celebration of mothers everywhere. This year, I'm gonna show my appreciation by taking a look at some of her highest film recommendations - some of her personal favorites I have yet to see. Don't worry, I'll do something that's actually special for her too.
Anyway, as a reviewer and overall lover of film, I kinda regret to have to admit that Hitchcock is actually a somewhat unturned stone for me. I recall 'The Birds' scaring the crap out of me as a kid (those pecked out eyes, man), and I consider Anthony Perkins' portrayal of Norman Bates from 'Psycho' one of the best all time movie villains, but it pretty much ends there. So, for one, I chose this from her list due to it being my "nest on the list" of Hitchcock films I wanted to finally see, and for two, this pretty much sets up next month's catching up theme as well. Hitchcock is most definitely a director worthy of a list of movies I feel a NEED to catch up on. But for now, perhaps considered Hitchcock's best overall film, this is 'Rear Window'.
If you've somehow managed to find yourself under a rock for the past 60-plus years, you've probably missed the countless parodies of this. They tend to be pretty much the same, involving someone in a cast and a wheelchair with nothing better to do than look out the window at his or her neighbors. They spot something mysterious, suspect a horrible crime has gone down, and in the end, often it's all a big misunderstanding, but sometimes not not. Well, it's the same plot here at the source material of all those parodies, featuring Jimmy Stewart in the lead role of L.B. Jefferies; a magazine photographer who's injury comes from an accident at a racetrack while he was covering a story. But how it ends exactly? I won't say, only because for me, it caught me off guard.
Perhaps most intriguing about this movie was that I expected to be laughing through it considering the amount of parodies I've seen of it. Kinda like how I giggled my way through 'The Shining' the first time I saw it, due to the 'Simpsons' parody (by the way, 'The Simpsons' also tackles this one with 'Bart of Darkness'). However, I didn't. This was something I was able to take seriously, have a good time with, and, though perhaps a bit dated on it, even feel the overall suspense with the climactic scene.
It's interestingly shot, and a testimony to how a film can work really well with some sort of ultimate limitation to it. For example 'Buried' featured Ryan Reynolds in a box for an hour and a half, but worked great as a thriller. This does the same thing, with all camera angles either taking place within the apartment, or looking out the window. But a lot happens, and I have to give Hitchock some ultimate credit for his creativity here.
For my own tastes, I'm not sure this one tops something like 'Psycho', but damned if it doesn't pose that dethroning potential. I could see myself growing to love this movie upon more viewings. And the good news is, it's a movie worth checking out more than once. One where you look for the clues to it's ending all along the way. Not quite as strong as 'Fight Club' or 'Sixth Sense' in that... sense, but still. It's a mystery thriller, and it's always fun to do that with those.
I'm very happy that this was at the top of my mother's recommendations this month. She was very much convinced that I would enjoy it, not only for story and performance, but for it's overall execution. She was absolutely right. It's certainly one I'll be revisiting in the near future.