Watched Sep 14, 2012
Matt "Cinebro" Conti’s review:
**Part of the Best Picture Project**
I can not think of anything better to start off the great year of 1939 other than The Wizard of Oz.
Every time I watch this film, it is always after some long gap since I last saw it, and yet, with every visit, the film does something that is nothing short of a miracle. I end up watching it with both nostalgic and fresh eyes. I remember things, but it still unfolds like brand new each and every time. This is the mark of a film that is truly timeless.
The last time I saw the film was on television in standard format, many years ago. Now, on my revisit, I see it on Blu Ray, and it really is like I'm seeing it brand new. The Blu Ray truly brings out just how magnificent this film is on a technical level alone. Not only does the camerawork seem to flow even more smoothly now, but production details are brought out that I never even noticed before. Though the film is 73 years old, the effects still bring such a sense of spectacle to the fantasy world it inhabits.
This film is without a doubt one of the most technically perfect films I've ever seen. I couldn't find a single fault in the editing, the camerawork, the choreography, NOTHING. Even the corny theatrical acting is perfect.
But I'm downplaying the story, which is part of what makes the film timeless. The best children's films usually have protagonists that are wholly sympathetic yet can learn a thing or two, and Wizard of Oz does that perfectly. Dorothy's journey is magical, and damn it if I don't want to join her and her singing friends as they dance their way through matte paintings on the way to another set.
Going by all the history the film went through, it should simply not work. It went through 5 great directors before finally settling on Victor Fleming. Yet the film defies all of this. It's strongly made. There's barely a fault. You wouldn't know any differently if you just watched it. It's the result of artists who love their craft and strive for perfection.
It's because of all of this that The Wizard of Oz is going to be remembered forever as its played on countless TV stations during the holidays and gets passed on from generation to generation.