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3.5 out of 5 stars
29
The Winslow Boy (Widescreen) [Import]
Format: DVD|Change
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on February 10, 2018
One of my favourite movies. Jeremy Northam & Rebecca Pidgeon are excellent in their roles, but so is everyone else - well acted throughout. Made with finesse & wit - qualities one rarely sees in today's movies & Netflix offerings. It is a period drama so one would have to be enamoured or at least receptive to that genre. I will watch it again.
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on September 7, 2006
Mamet knows dialogue. This movie was a feast for both the ears and eyes. It's nice to watch a smart movie, a movie that respects the audience. Not a legal thriller, it's about the effect that a fight for justice has on a family. It asks questions about the importance of innocence - I wondered if I would have the stamina to go the distance. How can we have justice if the cost to the participants is so high? If you like to think while watching a movie, if you love catching subtle changes in the set, if you love participating actively in the experience of a story, then this movie is for you.
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on March 16, 2017
The cd arrived well packed and in good conditions.
I did not like the film; but it is me.
Carmina
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on March 17, 2014
It is a very good film but this version is not complete. In fact a few scenes are missing from the original. Deception.
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on December 14, 2000
Be surprised that this film based on Terence Rattigan's 1946 play is adapted to the screen and directed by David Mamet. Be even more surprised that it's rated "G." But don't miss this gem. Most of the story focuses on the case of a boy accused of stealing a postal order, and its effect on the middle-class Winslow family in 1912 England. The new screen version surpasses the original with the palpable sexual tension between the characters played by Jeremy Northam and Rebecca Pidgeon. The few exchanges between Sir Robert (Northam) and Catherine Winslow (Pidgeon) are skillfully interwoven by Mamet. They're the sexiest couple in recent memory without the lewdness or voyeurism of blockbuster cinema.The DVD features voiceover commentary by Mamet and the main cast. I expected Mamet to be something like Quentin Tarantino's grumpier older brother, but was completely charmed when he introduced himself as "Dave" Mamet and affectionately called Pidgeon "Becks" throughout the commentary. Mamet clearly loved working with every member of his cast (down to the family maid) and directed them to resonant performances. Northam has never been better -- even in more mainstream films like "Emma" or "The Net." If you weren't a fan before, his portrayal of Sir Robert will cinch it.
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on October 23, 2003
To my taste this is a fantastic film, almost like watching the theater. Jeremy Northam swept me off my feet. I simply fell completely in love with him. To me, Kate seemed a bit cold, even colder than Sir Robert, which is funny because at first she thought Robert was a cold man whose causes are cynical. In any case, what impressed me the most was how Mamet built a huge story out of a minor case. The story is that of emotions. What's important - in life and on screen in this case - is not the events or the results of them, but the people's reactions and emotions towards them. This is what makes the events, and this is what makes this film so fine - all the tremendous streams flowing far beneath the surface, specifically ofcourse, the mounting (and melting) love between Sir Robert and Kate. Almost like Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy... True love very hidden but so obviously there!!! Indeed , go see this film.
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on March 20, 2002
The Winslow Boy is based on a famous legal case that occurred in England in 1908. A fourteen-year old boy was expelled from a British naval academy for allegedly stealing a five-schilling postal order, which is equivalent to just a few dollars. His father, believing his child's innocence, sued the state in order to clear his family's name. The story was turned into a successful play by Terrence Rattigan in 1948, and the playwright's work is the basis for this film by David Mamet. Mamet, who has written many plays himself, has previously been known for more visceral fare, but he handles this more sedate material with flair.
The focus of The Winslow Boy is not on the trial. We are never shown the inside of a courtroom. Instead, it focuses on the effects of the case on the family. It shows us how difficult and costly doing the right thing can be. We also see the high price of notoriety. Even today, when people willing display their problems on national TV talk shows, notoriety still has its costs, I believe We can imagine how devastating it must have been back in the days when privacy and self-esteem were held in high regard.
The story is one which begins rather slowly. We get a lot of character development, but the payoff is that it becomes riveting by the second half. Much of this is due to the superb acting of Nigel Hawthorne and Jeremy Northam. Hawthorne plays Arthur Winslow, the father who instigates the case. Hawthorne brings dignity and grace to a character who otherwise might seem a bit mad. Winslow never raises his voice. He quietly and persistently pursues his goal, not realizing until its too late that his family's lives are in danger of being ruined. Yet, can people pursing right ever be truly ruined? That is the question the movie raises. Jeremy Northam, who reminds me of a young Laurence Olivier, is astounding as Sir Robert Morton, the famous lawyer who finally agrees to take the case. He is especially interesting in his interaction with the daughter, Catherine Winslow [Rebecca Pidgeon]. She is a brilliant woman who works for women's rights, a thing which appalls Sir Robert. At the same time, we must remember a truism about relationships: A strong person tends to be attracted to another strong person who disagrees with them sooner than they are attracted to a weak person who agrees with them. This idea sums up the relationship between Catherine and Robert, and it all becomes quite romantic in an understated British way.
Obviously, this is a cerebral movie. Action fans, this means that nobody gets beaten up and nothing blows up. Exit polls showed it to be most liked by people over the age of forty-five, but I feel that many thinking people over the age of twelve might enjoy it, if they know what to expect going in.
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on June 14, 2000
I saw this movie in the library and decided to try it based on the director being David Mamet, whose previous work such as Glengarry Glen Ross and House of Cards I really enjoyed. I knew nothing about the movie otherwise and don't even remember it being released. What a surprise! Even though the plot (the younger son of a middle class British family is kicked out of the Osborne Naval Academy for cheating and his family sets out to prove his innocence) doesn't sound that interesting, the story kept me on the edge of my seat. Mamet has several key events happen off screen and the actors responding to second hand notice of these events and this actually seemed to heighten the suspense. Jeremy Northam is brilliant in a pivotal role. If you want a change from the summer blockbusters, this is the perfect movie!
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on December 18, 2001
I loved the parallels to our own courtroom media circuses. The struggle, the absolute struggle, of the father for his son. Who among us hasn't doubted, for just a second, that the people close to us are not quite the people we thought them to be?
I also loved the ending two lines. I will resist the temptation to write them out, but it should speak volumes that I remembered them, verbatim, for many months after seeing the movie, and indeed until I actually purchased the DVD two months ago.
As I was leaving the theatre, an elderly gentleman whispered to me, "At least we don't have to see it twice." But that's exactly what I did after buying, watching the whole thing straight through twice. What fun to watch Mamet put these actors, these scenes, this lovely story together.
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on December 10, 2003
I have probably watched this one 15-20 times. It's based on a true story, and there was evidently a play about it which preceded the film.
I saw it the second and the third time because the tenor was so appealing to me, the heroism of the father so compelling and the love story so masterfully executed. It could be the best ending I've ever seen on film. Furthermore, Mamet's grasp of that time and place was solid enough, that I was convinced he was born in England before the Second World War. And the acting was incredible -- particularly that of Jeremy Northam who admittedly had the best part, but also all the other major parts were played very, very well.
And then for a time with each new viewing, I saw things I hadn't seen before. The plot is so complete and well conceived, that I'm left a little breathless.
The central theme of the film, it seems to me, is "Let Right be done." Everybody gives up everything for Right. Only the incompetent maid doesn't observe any loss, though it is her unswerving faith that makes her impossible to fire. If she must go, then the point is lost somehow. So the entire ship sinks or floats as one. The father spends all the family money and sacrifices his health. The wayward older brother must leave Oxford. The daughter gives up her marriage. . All of it reasonably cheerfully. And for what? For Right. Yet on the surface, it seems "such a very trivial affair". A kid is accused of stealing a couple bucks. The discrepancy between the triviality of the case and the forces brought to bear upon it suggests something very powerful.
And then in the final sentence, everything is restored. It's beautiful.
All aspects of this problem of Right are addressed. It's not only about the comfort of the boy, whose life would be easier without the publicity. Nor is it about his honor. "The case has much wider implications than that." The father describes himself as fighting for 'justice'. But it's not even about that.
It's about Right. The only thing that has the power to cause Sir Robert to show his emotions is when Right is done -- "very easy to do Justice, very hard to do Right." And I think it is because Sir Robert sees the distinction, that he is able to play the trick without losing his moral ground. He plays the trick to take control of the House of Commons, to discredit a witness, to determine whether the boy is telling the truth, and even to trip up Edmund Curry so he can seize the girl at a distance. Kate initially mistakes this trickiness for simple avarice, and although she lays into him for being so 'passionless', she shares his capacity to keep a level head. Though they both do have their knee-jerk emotional responses. She falls for some guilty radical just because he takes on the establishment. And he's wrong about women's sufferage. But he shows his eligibility for her by sacrificing his career for Right. And she also demonstrates her eligibility for the big league by sacrificing for the cause of Right her only hope of a decent marriage. They make a very convincing pair.
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