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.
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.
What might Stanley Kubrick have made of A.I.? There’s a cynicism and harsh edge to this story that Steven Spielberg smooths out and polishes, so that the film fairly glows with the innocence of the Pinocchio figure at its heart.