Can I tell you about Dodsworth? Saw it on the big screen at Telluride. Loved it. Stars Walter Huston and Ruth Chatterton as discontented marrieds who take a cruise and drift apart. She's cheating on him to recapture her youth; he's despondent, but then meets Mary Astor, who is everything his wife is not: kind, worldly, comfortable with her age.
By the time Chatterton pushes for a reconciliation, Huston's heart is split. His longtime wife, his first love and mother of his beloved daughter? Or this new woman, whose mere presence promises new horizons?
The decision comes during the film's last moment. I won't spoil it. Just see it. In the supple hands of director William Wyler, the final sequence is thrilling. Thrilling? A 1936 black-and-white dramedy of spousal manners? Yes, thrilling I tell you! The best movies quietly take your breath away at the very end. Dodsworth -- through a slight adjustment in pacing -- does just that at the last instant.
Frances McDormand & McDonagh's "Three Billboards..."
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