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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

10 years of Flick Filosopher: two movies about the war

Since I didn’t post a retrospect yesterday — I spent hours migrating all the old Oscar reviews over to the new blog format — here’s two for today, from the World War II era, when the war hung heavily over the collective psyche. From my review of Mrs. Miniver, the Best Picture winner from 1942:

Was World War II the end of childhood for our society, for the whole world? I’m too young to even remember Vietnam, never mind WWII, but it seems that as awful as the Great War and the Great Depression were, it’s not until the 1940s that popular culture suddenly took stock and said, Yup, we’ve crossed that line into scary adolescence.

And from my review of Casablanca, the Best Picture winner from 1943:

Rick and Ilsa and Victor transcend their medium — they cease to be fictional characters and become real. They seem like the first modern people to be captured on film. There are so few actual grownups in movies (and in the real world), but they are adults with complicated lives and tough choices to make, and they live their lives and make their choices without complaining or whining about how awful the world is.

review of Mrs. Miniver, posted 01.25.99

review of Casablanca, posted 01.26.99

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