Today I had to get up very early (pre-dawn, even) for an early morning appointment. This included a fairly significant drive there and back that gave me time once again to listen to a good chunk of my Warren Beatty book.
I'm toward the end now, finally, and much of that section focuses on the movie "Reds" that Warren produced, co-wrote, directed, and starred in during the early eighties. The film eventually won three Oscars, including an Oscar for Beatty as Best Director.
Thing is, I never saw the movie. At best, I've only seen bits and pieces. So, in a fit of complete hedonism, when I got into town after my appointment, I popped by the library, checked out a copy for free and spent the better part of the afternoon piled up on the couch taking it in. (Don't tell the S-Man. He gets crazy when he thinks I'm lollygagging on the couch eating high quality dark chocolate and watching Warren Beatty movies on a perfectly good work day.)
To give you the basics, the "Reds" plot centers on John Reed (played by Beatty, natch), an American journalist and passionate socialist living and working in NYC during the years leading up to WWI. On a trip somewhere obscure he meets Louise Bryant (played by Diane Keaton), an equally passionate feminist and writer. The two fall in love and Reed persuades Bryant to move to New York. There she is thrown in with Reed's circle of intellectual friends which include liberal thinkers and luminaries of the time like playwright Eugene O'Neil (played by Jack Nicholson), Reed's bestest friend. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Eventually Reed and Bryant marry and together travel to Russia to cover the revolution together. At some point, the passionate Reed, unable to help himself, crosses the line from journalist to revolutionary. Much drama ensues.
My impressions were as follows (because, aren't you dying to know?):
- At 194 minutes, the movie is just too long. It's good, but it's not that good.
- The similarities between Reds and Dr. Zhivago are unmistakable. They are both epics involving star crossed lovers set against the backdrop of the Bolshevik revolution (though Reds is a little more centered in America.) Reds does not stand up well to that comparison.
- Good gosh a'mighty, this is the sexiest role I've ever seen Jack Nicholson play. He is positively sssmokin' as Eugene O'Neil. As far as I'm concerned, his performance is the best in the film.
- How the crap does Diane Keaton manage to snag all the great roles not to mention all the great guys (she's on Beatty's "list")? I don't get it.
- I enjoyed seeing a film about people on fire for their work and willing to go all the way for what they believe in. Isn't that what it's all about?
On a different, but no less important note, thanks to a link from my friend, Keena, I have learned that my girl smell is Key Lime. Not surprising since it is also one of my favorite pies. I'd link to Keena, but her vlog is now private. You should know that her girl smell is Lemon. I believe it is of vital importance that you determine your girl smell. It is obviously not wise to go through life unaware of these things.
Your Scent is Key Lime
Sassy, real, and totally smooth
You're a total flirt who's always ready for a challenge!