Rear Window

Rear Window ★★★★★

Rewatched it with my daughter for the first time.

What’s stayed with me after first seeing this movie so many years ago was the intense, almost suffocating tension near the climax, a master class in invoking extreme empathy in audiences. But what I relished this time was the hermetic completeness of the set that Hitchcock built, how it looked so authentically New York-ian even when it was obviously a sound stage, how all of the little things like a sliver of an alleyway or the irregular shape of a hallway or the stepped landscape of the courtyard seem like details from a fastidious illustrator—the whole set is a New Yorker cover come to life. And the soundtrack, too, is amazingly impressionistic and antithetical to traditional scoring; it seems to breathe and feel like a real city, at least until the penultimate scene, where it all goes unbearably quiet.

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