Quick recap: Margot Channing is an aging broadway star who meets a seemingly devoted fan, Eve Harrington. Feeling compassionate, Channing takes the woman in and entrusts her with everything.That turns out not to be a good idea once it is revealed Harrington has ulterior motives.
Fun (?) fact: Bette Davis was going through a divorce while filming, so her voice is hoarse from all the screaming she had to do with her ex.
My thoughts: All About Eve is interesting because I figured out the plot very early on, once I realized that it’s been done so many times in pop culture. The lack of surprise in no way diminishes the film, though.
For starters, the acting is top notch. And by acting, I’m really talking about Bette Davis. Her performance is one of the best I have ever seen in American cinema. It really surprised me to learn that she didn’t win Best Actress at the Oscars, so I’ll just add a point to the ‘Academy Awards are useless’ column that I have mentally been keeping. Part of the reason her performance was so well done is because she was given such a complex character. It would be one thing to dismiss Margot Channing as a stereotypical aging starlet, but there is so much more than that. As more facts were revealed about Eve, she became more of a person I could sympathize and identify with. We are all high maintenance at one point or another in our lives, especially when the flaw we are most self-conscious about is exposed. No one likes to be upstaged and it was admirable for Channing to drop the controversy like she did.
All the theatre talk got a little boring at times, mainly because I know nothing about the theater. It’s easy to see why it was chosen as Best Picture, which I suppose is another point in the ‘ Academy Awards are useless’ column, since actors like movies about themselves. On the other hand, it was legitimately a good film so they also made a good decision. So…..half point?
The only part of the film that I really didn’t like was Marilyn Monroe. I have never seen her act before and I was unimpressed here. Granted, she has a very tiny role, but her ‘dumb blonde’ act really grated on my nerves. She is gorgeous, yes, but playing yourself is nothing special. Was she considered a ‘dumb blonde’ in real life? I realize now that I know next to nothing about her, so I guess I’ll hold my judgement completely for future films.
Final review: 4/5. As wonderful as the film was, it was practically Oscar Bait so I can’t give it a full 5/5.
Up next: The Apartment