Sixty years later, George Stevens’s intimate epic Giant still seems like a wondrous anomaly: sweeping saga of American prosperity that reveals its racist underbelly; glorious star vehicle that upends rigid gender roles; modern Western that questions the validity of frontier land ownership.
If prolific reader Carrie Pilby (Bel Powley) watched romantic comedies the way she consumes books, she might see that her dispiriting year as a recluse was ending and that she’d wandered into a merry and bright fairy tale of New York.
Director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte wanders through Gus Van Sant territory until he finds his own path in As You Are, which captures the dreamy intimacy of teenage relationships where boundaries between friendship and love prove porous.
Casablanca is a sharply political movie, displaying overt admiration for anti-fascist activists and sympathy for refugees while subtly probing the corrosiveness of appeasement. Against the current rise of nationalism and xenophobia, the political climate that generations have taken as a backdrop for the romance of Ilsa Lund and Rick Blaine crashes to the forefront.
Bridget Jones mines the riches of embarrassment. Her gaffes, blunders, stumbles, and pratfalls provide the laughs in the atypical romcoms built around her, films that rely heavily on the comedy of idiosyncrasy.