We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
Warner Bros. is trying a new ad campaign for "The Madwoman of Chaillot," in which we're advised that Katharine Hepburn is "magnificently hip." The ad elaborates: "Groovier than she was in 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner!'"
Katharine Hepburn is a great actress and possibly even a great woman, but there's some question whether anyone wants to see her hip and groovy. The trouble with ad campaigns like this is that they sell the movie the producers wish they had made. Paramount, for example, hired pop artist Peter Max to do a lot of ads for "Paint Your Wagon," apparently in the hope that Max would magically rub off on the movie and - presto! - make it contemporary.
No doubt a hip, groovy, contemporary film version of "The Madwoman of Chaillot" was possible, but Bryan Forbes has not directed it. He's taken Jean Giraudoux's late 1940s play, jacked it up with some easy references to nuclear testing and radical students, and attempted to pass it off as relevant.
But that won't do. If "The Madwoman of Chaillot" is relevant at all, it's in its irrelevance. The notion of an old woman who is naively committed to justice, and who hopes to bring down a gang of international thieves all by herself, is charming, only so long as we protect it from the logic of the real world.