Great Hollywood epic with Russell Metty's Sirkian composition in full bloom and occasional camera flourishes that presage the Kubrickian idiolect we come to recognize as singular post-1968. Peter Ustinov is downright incredible--every flinch, stutter, and mutter has the weight of inevitability. He even outshines Mr. Olivier at times. A memorable and transporting 3 hours!
Last year i spent a month living in Place d'Italie w/ my partner so whenever the characters took the bus somewhere we both (she, rewatching for the millionth time, and I for only the second) had minor freakouts recognizing the parks / street names. It's hard to imagine Nouvelle Vague without the expressive visual techniques and labyrinthine subjectivities born and rendered here (in 1962!). Varda's best movies have a life of their own. Watching Cléo, that life, more than half a century later, still burns with undeniable brightness.
I'll be proud and cocksure: this is one of the best horror films of all time. The acting is far better than in Murnau's Nosferatu, even though it is largely still "physical" instead of verbal (residue of silent film inspiration), and thanks to copyright bullshit expiring Herzog could use the actual character names from Bram Stoker's book. Isabelle Adjani's Lucy is relentlessly disarming; Kinski is in the pocket; Bruno Ganz is perfectly wild eyed.
From the opening minutes this is…