One never senses judgment from Dano, Kazan, Gyllenhaal, or Mulligan—they recognize that there’s beauty even in the mistakes we make in life. It’s what makes…
Losey establishes the mood by a series of low-key performances and a very quiet camera style. His camera tends to linger on scenes after the characters have left, suggesting that their intrigues run counter to the passive nature of their world. The subtle, controlled performances of the principal actors make this work.
The story involves two Oxford professors, an extrovert separated from his wife (Stanley Baker) and a quiet, repressed married man (Dirk Bogarde) whose wife is pregnant again. Both men are attracted to a young Austrian student (Jacqueline Sassard). She is engaged to Bogarde's student (Michael York). Bogarde would like to approach her, but holds back (as he tells himself) in deference to York. Baker lacks such qualms, seduces the girl, and even takes her to Bogarde's home one evening for a rendezvous.
This is the outline of the story; its fascination comes from Bogarde's perfectly calculated moves to seduce the girl himself and, incidentally, win his undeclared war with Baker. His victory comes only after the "accident" of the title.
The film is put together as carefully as a Hitchcock. The plot depends on coincidences, timing and the resources available in the limited Oxford world. But it is also recognizably a work of Pinter in the way the story is revealed backwards, in scenes that are jigsawed together to make an emotional continuity instead of a straightforward story line.
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...
A review of Mike Flanagan's new horror series based on the Shirley Jackson novel, The Haunting of Hill House.
Peter Bogdanovich, film historian and filmmaker, talks about Buster Keaton, the subject of his new documentary.
An epic essay on an epic comedy of the 1960s, now given deluxe treatment on Blu-ray and DVD by Criterion.