We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
“Garbo Talks” started out as a great idea for a movie, and when it’s over, it’s still a great idea for a movie, but the problem is, there are no great ideas in between. The movie tells the story of a dying woman whose last wish is to meet Greta Garbo, the legendary recluse. The woman’s son, who never has been able to assert himself about anything in his life, vows to find Garbo and bring her to his mother’s bedside. The movie ends after Garbo has arrived at the bedside.
Now stop for a moment and imagine. What would you like to have happen? Would you like Garbo to talk with the dying woman? Would you like her to offer the kind of mysterious, haunting tenderness and sympathy she projected in her movies? Would you like her to make the dying woman’s life more interesting, by revealing the secrets of her last 43 years spent out of the public eye? If you would, I’m afraid you’re in for a big disappointment.
Garbo is treated in this movie like an icon. We see only a glimpse of her face. The rest of the time, there’s her stylish hair, above the collar of a fashionable coat, seen from behind. And when she walks into the hospital room, the dying woman, played by Anne Bancroft, does a thing so incredible you can believe it only because it’s in a movie – especially because it’s in a movie. She begins delivering a monologue to Garbo.
The camera zooms in slowly as Bancroft emotes tearfully about her life, her loves, her hopes, her dreams. Is that why she wanted to meet Garbo? To have someone to talk to?