Thursday, February 11, 2016

Oscar Movie Review: "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962)

Image Source
Movie"Lawrence of Arabia"
Year Nominated: 1963
Director: David Lean
Rating: PG
Running Time: 2 hours, 36 minutes
Did It Win?: Yes.

T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) is a soldier in the British armed forces. He is sent to the Middle East where he is to meet and make an assessment of Prince Feisal (Alec Guinness). Once there, Lawrence manages to convince numerous Arab tribes to unite and join the fight to drive out the Turkish occupation.

Whenever you read lists of the greatest films of all time, "Lawrence of Arabia" seems to make an appearance without fail, almost always towards the top of the list. This film is a beautifully shot World War I war epic that focuses on the life of T.E. Lawrence and the time he spent serving the British military in the Middle East in the fight against the Ottoman Empire. Peter O'Toole stars as the titular Lawrence and does a damn fine job in the role. He earned an Oscar nomination for his performance, but lost out to Gregory Peck in "To Kill a Mockingbird." As good as Peter O'Toole is in this film, we have to say we agree with the Academy when it comes to Gregory Peck's performance, it just sucks O'Toole never won an Oscar (and don't tell us those honorary Oscar awards count because they don't). Though O'Toole didn't walk away with an Academy Award, the film itself took home seven Oscars,  including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography, all of which are extremely well deserved and iconic to this day.

This is, without a doubt, one of the most gorgeously shot films in all of cinematic history. The cinematography is stunningly fantastic, favoring wide, expansive shots of barren but beautiful desert landscapes, as well as some truly exciting action shots. "Lawrence of Arabia" also features a moving, iconic score by Maurice Jarra, who also earned an Oscar for his efforts. When this unmistakable score is coupled with the aforementioned attractive camera shots and the brilliant acting of the likes of Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Claude Rains, and Peter O'Toole, it's really no wonder it maintains the pinnacle of filmmaking to this very day. With all that being said, this film is, unfortunately, not flawless. It is a very long movie and it certainly feels long. Though this is what makes an epic an epic, there are many scenes that feature characters simply walking through the desert at great length, and these scenes tend to drag. We get that director David Lean wanted to convey the vast, desolate nature of the daunting desert, but seriously, this film is over three and a half hours long. There could have been some desert walking truncation going on to trim up the story and pick up the pace just a skosh. Is this a picky 21st century problem? Probably. All we're saying is sometimes, it does feel its length.

Many critics and viewers alike have dubbed "Lawrence of Arabia" the greatest film of all time. In terms of war epics, this is definitely at the top of the list. It is certainly a film every single person should see at least once in their lifetime. For us, while we really enjoyed this movie, there are many wonderful films we like more from both from a technical aspect and an entertainment aspect. Please don't hate us.

My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 99%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!
One year ago, we were watching: "The Grapes of Wrath"

No comments:

Post a Comment