Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Lost Weekend Movie Review

The Lost Weekend (1945)
Rent The Lost Weekend on Amazon Video / Buy the book
Written by: Charles R. Jackson (from the novel by), Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder (screen play)
Directed by: Billy Wilder
Starring:  Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry
Rated: --/PG

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

A desperate chronic alcoholic succumbs to a four-day drinking bout.

This delves headlong into addiction, creating a realistic and gripping drama. I was surprised at how he rarely feels dated. This explores a few days in an addict's life, and it feels very realistic. You can't help but blame Don, but at the same time you realize he's helpless.
Watch it.

Wilder bought the book at the train station, and by the time he reached Hollywood, he knew this would be his next movie. Charles R. Jackson based the book on his own life.

At the Academy Awards, this won best picture, screen play, director, and actor. While older movies often feel part stage play, and this does at times, it delves into the mind of an alcoholic so well that I quickly forgot this was an old black and white movie.
Milland actually spent time with alcoholics at the hospital to prepare for his role. The depiction of the struggle is harrowing. We want Don to overcome, but as the movie progresses we realize it's unlikely. He can't shake the hold alcohol has on him. It's the reason he's offended family and friends. When he needs a fix, he'll do anything. It's also the reason he met a girlfriend. How he still has a girlfriend, I'm still wondering.

He hasn't made it this far without being clever about hiding his addiction. When he's in need he's unscrupulous. While his friends try to help him, they can't do anything until Don is ready. Don's hidden alcohol in every crack and crevice, sometimes so well hidden even he forgets where he's stashed it.

It's surprising to see an early movie cover a grim subject. This is a subject that contemporary movies often fail to do competently. We completely get Don. He's tragic, and it all rests on him.

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