Combustible Celluloid
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With: Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Kruger, Steven Berkoff, Gay Hamilton, Marie Kean, Diana Koerner, Murray Melvin, Frank Middlemass, Andre Morell, Arthur O'Sullivan, Godfrey Quigley, Leonard Rossiter, Philip Stone
Written by: Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 184
Date: 18/12/1975

Barry Lyndon (1975)

4 Stars (out of 4)

'Barry' Tales

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Based on William Makepeace Thackeray's 1844 novel, Barry Lyndon strangely resembles Forrest Gump in that its protagonist is a not-too-bright opportunist (Ryan O'Neal) who rises in society when he lands in the right place at the right time. The difference is that Kubrick has the courage to paint his character as a slightly detestable anti-hero. He's allowed to be flawed, whereas Gump was horrifyingly portrayed as a hero.

Seeing Barry Lyndon a second time, I found myself charmed by just how funny and lively it is, in an underplayed way, when it just seemed cold the first time around. I also appreciated O'Neal's banal portrayal of the title character, perfectly capturing the scoundrel's inner life.

Barry Lyndon also astounds as one of Kubrick's most visually splendid movies, each shot framed as a lovely painting, emphasizing the non-action of the period and of Barry himself.

John Alcott won nearly every cinematography award available for his outstanding work. The movie won four Oscars, for cinematography, art direction, costume design, and score, and received nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.

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