For 1 Year, 100 Movies, I will watch all of AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies list (compiled in 2007) in one year- and will complete a goal on my 2013 Manifesto. Come along on the ride with me- oh, and please pass the popcorn!
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? It’s basically one dinner party that would never end. As annoyed as I was at the movie the entire way through, was also how much I was impressed with the ending. All that emotion, hatred and vileness that’s spewing everywhere throughout the film finally culminates into a very moving and believable performance of a couple reliving the heartbreak of being unable to conceive. I went from absolutely hating it to appreciating the honesty of how the characters were feeling. If it had really been sixteen years they had been keeping this secret it’s no wonder all that emotion burst out in such a fashion. They really should have sought some professional help with their grief. It’s not until all the lies and pretending are stripped away that George and Martha (Burton and Taylor) can experience a moment of true understanding and tenderness.
The filming is brilliant. As the characters get more agitated the camera becomes more erratic with them, and as they calm down we get steady shots and close-ups. The acting, delivery of the dialogue, the staging, and the raw emotion from each one of the characters is engaging and spot on. They were all four- Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sandy Dennis and George Segal- nominated for Academy Awards, and both of the ladies won in their respective categories. This was my first Elizabeth Taylor movie, and she did not disappoint.
In my humble, non-professional, average movie-goer opinion this movie earns: