It probably helped that I was expecting to like this movie, but I absolutely loved it. We’re the kind of geeky film people who spend the whole of the trailers gossiping about studios, and discussed the new Weinstein venture apparently risen out of the ashes of Miramax. I don’t even think it’s particularly geeky to know that that was the studio that made Pulp Fiction and subsequently went bust, but no one seems to notice this stuff.
It is a black and white silent film about the decline of silent movies. It’s also about social isolation and destructive pride. Unusually, it’s a film that both my parents would like – sufficiently self-knowing for the slightly cinema-obsessed, sufficiently moving and entertaining for those who want a night out, not the topic of a thesis on film history.
John Goodman plays the money-grubbing movie producer, and James Cromwell plays probably the best part as the loyal chauffeur. It’s hard to believe he’s 6’7” but you can see how the camera has to pan out to fit him on the screen.