Friday, 14 February 2014

Out of Africa

Out Of Africa, 1985
Directed by Sydney Pollack
Nominated for 11 Oscars, Won 7
Wins Include: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art-Set Direction, Best Sound, Best Original Score

Out of Africa tells the story of Danish Baroness, Karen Blixen. Karen has married for convenience. She married a friend, both of whom want to travel and see the world. Before they wed, they arrive in Kenya to start a plantation. While originally supposed to be a cattle farm, but, Karen discovers upon arrival, they will now have a coffee plantation. Karen and Bror wed upon Karen's arrival, though neither love each other. At first unused to the society and culture, Karen is soon throwing herself into her work and responsibilities. These grow even more so when the First World War breaks out, and many of the men go off to war. While her husband is gone, she continues to run into Denys, a local hunter, whom she develops a close friendship with, while problems grow on the farm. Soon, when the men come back from war, Karen and Bror are growing more and more independent, leaving more room for the farm, various other projects and for Denys and Karen to grow together. 

I really love Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. So I really did want to love this movie. Robert Redford has always been so underrated. And while he didn't blow me away or anything in this film, he still did such a solid job and it's sad to see it go unnoticed. Meryl Streep on the other hand, seemed to rock the role of Karen Blixen. Surprising? Not really. But other than that, this film was pretty bland. 

The film seemed to be a cross between Gone With the Wind and the English Patient. I enjoyed Gone With the Wind, but didn't really enjoy the English Patient much. There wasn't too much of a solid story, but more just "the life of Karen Blixen". While "the story of" works for some films, this one was a little too slow and bland for it to be a truly exciting film. This seemed to have potential (between Pollack, Streep and Redford), but it just was too slow and a little too boring. 

However, the film was really gorgeous. There's a reason this won cinematography and art/set direction. The backdrop of the film is beautiful already, but the cinematography really captures the beauty of the country and brings it to life. However, it wasn't enough to revive this slow film. 

Like I said, I really wanted to enjoy it, but I didn't really. Like American Hustle, solid performances aren't enough to carry a film if the story and narrative isn't there. And it really wasn't here for this one. 

Acting- 8.5/10 
Screenplay- 6/10 
Directing- 7/10 
Visuals- 8.5/10 
Music- 7.5/10 
Rewatchability- 4/10 
Emotional Connection 5/10 
Entertaining- 5/10 
Enjoyment- 5.5/10 
"Total Package"- 6.5/10       

Total: 63.5/100

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