Thursday, December 07, 2017
Thursday Movie Picks: Ugly Ducklings Turned Beautiful Swan Makeovers
For the first week of December 2017 as part of the Thursday Movie Picks series hosted by Wanderer of Wandering Through the Shelves. We venture into the idea of the ugly duckling where a person who often starts out as unattractive or insecure then becomes someone beautiful or become a better person. Yet, it’s a subject that has taken many forms and here are my three picks:
1. My Fair Lady
In this adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion comes one of the finest musicals ever made in which an arrogant phonetics professor makes a wager in which he turns a Cockney flower girl into a presentable woman in Edwardian-era Britain. Featuring iconic performances from Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, it’s a film told with such beauty and style by George Cukor with amazing songs in which Hepburn’s Eliza Doolittle is being this poor flower girl into a woman of glamour and manners only to realize why she’s been transformed. It is a film that still holds up and is always a joy to watch.
2. Strictly Ballroom
From Baz Luhrmann comes one of the finest feature-film debuts of the 1990s as it is set in the world of ballroom dancing where a promising dancer has become bored with the dancing he’s done and wants to do something different. He teams up with this young woman who is a beginner and isn’t very attractive yet she does give him some inspiration once she did some Flamenco steps. By helping her become more confident in her looks as she would help him find do something different and new where they also dare to shake up the establishment of the ballroom dancing committee as it’s all about dancing.
3. The Shape of Things
From Neil LaBute comes a cinematic version of his play as it is inspired by Pygmalion but it’s a really fucked-up film. It’s about this nerd, played by Paul Rudd, who meets this beautiful art student in Rachel Weisz who takes an interest him where she gets him to lose weight, take on a new look, and all sorts of things unaware of what it’s all about. Even as his friends in Gretchen Mol and Fred Weller become unsure of this change as they become alienated which would affect their own relationship. The film’s third act is really one of the most castrating moments in film as it is a twist on the ugly duckling theme that includes a devastating ending with all of the music is from Elvis Costello.
© thevoid99 2017