Who IS Virginia Woolf and Why is She so Scary!?

Summer Film Challenge 2011
Report #4
Date:   28 June 2011
Film:  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
My Rating:  8/10

Reasoning:
First of all, this is one of the best written films I have ever seen, and for obvious reasons.  I really enjoyed watching this scene (and it really is one or two scenes) and the George and Mary relationship play out. Really fantastic.

This to me is what every indie film tries to be: a dark, yet honest representation of real life and real people. What makes it stand out (besides the lack of indie music) was that it takes place over the course of 5 hours one night.  Most films try to show so much of life over several months or a solid week, but Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? proves that with excellent writing it can be done in much shorter time.  Beautiful writing that really challenges you to think.

However, I still feel like I missed the “joke”. Going into it I knew that Virginia Woolf was a writer, probably a poet, but that was all I knew. After seeing it, I educated myself on the subject.  And still I don’t know what the point is.  She was a feminist and the parallel can be draw there from the strong woman she was and the strength of Margaret’s character, but I am not sure that is the full extent of the point being made.

Also, I really don’t get the ending.  I mean I understand what happened but I have no idea what happened. All I will say here is that, again, I followed what occured but I am not sure I understand how it got there and where it goes from there.  Below, I am including a section that will go into more detail about this issue, but that includes spoilers.  Check that out to see what I mean.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I don’t get these two things, but I don’t get them sort of like I don’t fully get Inception or The Departed. I don’t understand it but I know that it is deep and amazing.  I just need some time to let it all sink in.  Good stuff that you can’t just accept and move on.

One final note in the spoiler free section about the acting.  Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton give near flawless performances, really nailing these two incredibly difficult roles. The supporting cast….not so much. Watch and see what Nick (New Bio Teacher) drinks after his wife throws up. It must be 1000% proof because in a matter of seconds he goes from calm and collected, if not a little nervous, to smashed out on the lawn. I know acting drunk is hard but Taylor and Burton nail it (the couple being very used to drinking works well) versus the other two start in control and, after a few drinks, completely fall apart.  That wasn’t great but it was covered well by the phenomenal performances by the every beautiful Elizabeth Taylor and the wonderfully calculating Richard Burton.

In summary, a great movie, a bit tough to watch but on the whole, amazing and well worth the chance to watch it. I look forward to unpacking it over the next few weeks. Btw: 20th post!!! 🙂

Do you fear death?

***Spoilers below***

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

What I mean is this: I understand that they don’t have a son. That I can follow, but I don’t really understand it. I guess that the game is that they can’t mention the game (sound familiar?) and they both are in charge of the creation of their son’s life.  I guess it just doesn’t make much sense to me how deeply they are connected, partially through a neurotic fantasy life of their imaginary child, yet are so evil to each other on the surface. Both traits are believable but I am just not sure how well they work together. Really going to need some time to unpack this whole debacle.  That’s it.  Thanks!

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Author: Tyler D. Welch

Filmmaker, Storyteller, Scholar

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