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July 01, 2006

The Lost Weekend - 7

Billy Wilder directs this very poignant film about alcoholism. Made in 1945 this film won Oscars for direction, acting, and screen play. The film follows, Don, whose attempt to stop drinking always fail. His brother and girlfriend, have done as much as they can and leave him alone for a weekend. He finally hits bottom and has horrid hallucinations, and finally decides suicide might be the final resolution. This film shows the power of addiction. There are great questions of identity and vocation that are engaged through the dialogue as well. Interesting trivia from IMDb:

Billy Wilder claimed the liquor industry offered Paramount $5 million to not release the film; he also suggested that he would have accepted, had they offered it to him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I watched this one a few weeks back, and it was the first Wilder film that disappointed me. Knowing that Wilder was a cynical man hurts my appreciation for a few key spots.

I wanted more closure or exploration of Gloria, the woman that Don asks money from to sate his alcoholism. If she's in love with him, as she is, the film needs to identify the damage that Don is inflicting on her by putting himself in debt with her. I don't need things all wrapped, but I do need to see that Wilder understands the box that Don's opened with this move. This cynicism of Don's knowledge of the reprecussions following the lent money felt like they needed explored more.

Also, the ending with love being the balm to Don's afflliction was a little too sudden. The resolution needed more room to breathe in order for me to buy his sudden ability to act without alcohol. Also, his book doesn't actally sound all that... um, good.

Good comments about location and identity, though. I agree with these... and I'd give the film a high 4 or low 5 on your scale.