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Not a darling of the critics, Picnic has suffered from robust shellackings by popular voices such as the renowned Roger Ebert -- with whom I seem to disagree about 95% of the time -- man, do I miss Gene Siskel. Ebert, the anti-Picnic cheerleader -- runs down this film as clunky, awkwardly written, poorly directed, and utterly non-self-aware. When RE doesn't like a film, he does not hold back. In truth, as I ruminate over what all is eating Roger Ebert, it seems to me that he is most irate about Holden and Novak being attracted to each other for surface reasons, for their physical attributes rather than their intellectual capabilities. Roger finds it ironic that Novak plainly states her desire to be seen as more than just a good-looking woman, when in fact that is the very essential and singular attraction for Holden. Roger, guess what? This could very possibly be a statement about 50s' middle-American values, a rich rendering, I'm thinking, of the way the writers perceive an awkward decade, full of stilted dialog disguising sexual tensions bubbling below the surface. If only we could all say what we really mean, really want, really desire so deeply -- hey, then the stuffy 50s might erupt into a decade of revolutionary thought and action -- hmmmmm, kind of like the 60s, huh Roger? On another note, Rosalind Russell is yet another fine actor who never gave a bad performance and never won an Academy Award. She could have certainly won for Best Supporting Actress with this depressingly desperate performance.
- binky013, Tuesday, June 28, 2011
An okay melodrama, it's not bad, but it's pretty boring for the most part.
- ajv2688, Wednesday, November 10, 2010