these are the priorities for my 70's project.
Youth had been a habit of hers for so long that she could not part with it.
An ambitious Hollywood hustler becomes involved with a reclusive female star whom he tries to lure out of retirement.
I just don't know what to make of this movie. Fedora was a movie I had wanted to see for the longest time and had never been able to find a copy of it anywhere. It was not easy since it had never been released on DVD until only very recently. It was the only Billy Wilder film I had not seen and had such high hopes for the film.
Maybe it did not help that I thought that this was a comedy, which this movie is not, because I was certainly disappointed in the final result. Maybe I was just expecting too much and I should give it another chance a few years from now. This was Billy Wilder's second to last film before retiring from directing.
Have never got Wilder. Never been a fan of his "classics". This, on the other hand, is the diamond. Elegiac, romantic, reflexive and oh-so-tragic. The key thing that makes it different to the early ones is that the cynicism is in the subtext. One minute I'm thinking of Bonjour Tristesse, then Eyes Without a Face, then Veronika Voss, then Vertigo, then Citizen Kane… Will be making another appointment with this one as soon as it screens in London (so probably 2027).
An odd retreading of the same material that comprised much of Wilder's Sunset Boulevard (starring William Holden, as well), Fedora is the first uninteresting Wilder film I've encountered in this marathon. The thematic material is there, but it's so oddly constructed, so off-handedly plodding and comatose. It's competent, sure, but there is no fire, no wit or intelligence to sustain it. It feels like nothing more than Wilder casually fanning the flame of anti-Hollywood egoism, a passive indictment of the narcissism and delusional mindsets that drove so many of it's key players to ineptitude. At it's worst, this film simply is uninteresting. At it's best, it's a fascinating misfire from a rarely docile Billy Wilder.
Fedora: "They don't make those pictures anymore."
President of the Academy: "That's because they don't make women like you anymore."
The second to last film from director Billy Wilder makes for a nice companion piece with his 1950 classic Sunset Boulevard. Much like Sunset Boulevard, Fedora stars William Holden and tells a story concerning an aging actress from old Hollywood. Obviously it's nowhere near as good as Sunset Boulevard, but it's still pretty good. William Holden gives a terrific performance and everyone else does good too. Fedora has some great scenes scattered throughout and overall is a more than solid film. I'd recommend it. 7/10
You've all heard of or seen Sunset Boulevard, Billy Wilder's cynical kick in Hollywood's balls. But he also made another film vaguely centered around the same subject, namely Fedora (1978). Also this time he chose William Holden as the leading man, and there's an eccentric retired actress...
Barry Detweiler (Holden) is an independent producer trying to revive his career by bringing back the long ago retired Fedora from hiding, to star in his new film The Snows of Yesteryear - a new version of Anna Karenina. Towards the end the story becomes a bit too unlikely and the old woman's behavior a bit too eccentric, but the first hour or so is perhaps some of the darkest and most cynical…
"Fedora" was Billy Wilder's last masterpiece, a perfect companion piece to "Sunset Boulevard" down to the casting of William Holden as the male lead, (here he's a down-on-his-luck producer rather than a struggling writer), and it is shamefully undervalued as if the film's very artifice isn't worth taking seriously, (indeed someone described the film to me as being so camp all the female roles should be played by drag-queens, missing the point by a mile). While at times darkly funny and certainly cynical, it is also deeply moving in ways we simply don't expect from Wilder. This is a movie that betrays an old master's love of movies, no longer biting the hand that feeds him but longing for the…
It's difficult to imagine the average modern viewer finding the patience to put up with Wilder's often rambling film, but those afflicted with cinephilia will find plenty to admire here, particularly in its lush visuals - Fedora is a study in exquisite shot composition.
A movie from the 40s made in the 70s. Wrongly described as a sequel of "Sunset Boulevard", "Fedora" is a story about identity crisis, and Wilder made an analysis to the death of his cinema, of the Hollywood glamour, extinct with the new era. That old cinema, now a museum piece, tries here to resurrect. And even it is impossible on a technical level, Wilder could get it at a moral and symbolic way.
What a underrated, overlooked gem! I'm sure Mr. Almodóvar would remake it if he had seen it.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Fedoralla on ehkä jopa petollisen paljon yhteistä Wilderin aikaisemman teoksen Auringonlaskun kadun kanssa. Molemmat ovat cameoita viliseviä elokuvia, joissa mies saapuu todistamaan suuren näyttelijättären mennyttä loistoa.
Fedora vie tätä kehitystä, jossa naisnäyttelijättäret ovat ulkonäkönsä vankeja, vieläkin pidemmälle. Elokuvassa Fedoran kasvot ovat niin ikoniset, että hän ei enää omista niitä itse, vaan ne siirtyvät seuraavalle jättäen hänelle itselleen vaan paikan kulisseissa. Naiset valkokankaalla eivät saa ikääntyä, mutta plastiikkakirurgiaan turvautuminen on väärin, kuten Renée Zellwegerin muodonmuutoksen ympärillä jyllännyt kohu osoittaa.
Toisaalta Feodora aivan kuin ennusti kehitystä, jossa elokuvahahmot ovat myös brändejä, jotka vain siirtyvät näyttelijältä toiselle. Tulee uusia Indiana Jones -elokuvia, eikä niissä näyttele enää Harrison Ford.
Elokuvaa katsoessa ei voi olla myöskään miettimättä, miten esimerkiksi Marilyn Monroen kaltaisten tähtien kanssa työskentely on vaikuttanut näiden kahden Wilderin elokuvan syntyyn. Seksisymboli ja legenda Monroe lunasti ikuisen nuoruuden kuolemalla nuorena.
20 Words or Less Recommendation/Review: Absolutely freaking bonkers and I'd be lying if I said I didn't really enjoy it. Heavily underrated seventies gem.
"The kids with beards have taken over."
Nailed it. But rest of movie is pretty dumb.
Um dos últimos filmes de Billy Wilder, que resgata muitos dos temas já explorados em Crepúsculo dos Deuses, como a corrupção promovida por Hollywood e a perda da juventude. De certa maneira, é um filme muito mais pesado e pessimista que aquele (se é que é possível ser muito mais pessimista que Crepúsculo dos Deuses), mas também muito menos charmoso e interessante. A história é quase tão morta quanto seus personagens principais (o que é ótimo), mas falta um toque da tal genialidade de Wilder que transformou outros filmes também aparentemente comuns em obras-primas. Este aqui é só ok, prende mais pela "homenagem" que faz a grandes obras e estrelas do cinema.
Oh man, I thought I was the only person that had a hidden shrine to Michael York!
I really enjoyed this!!! Some may think it's not a great Wilder, but I really thought it was interesting & felt so lucky that I waited to see it on a big screen & in 35mm.
UPDATE: I can't add any more titles (it's actually a limit set by Letterboxd). I may create another list to…