March 2021 Film For Bookworms:

by Eugene O'Neill 
(screenplay is an exact copy of the complete play)
directed by Sidney Lumet

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Films for Bookworms

The only thing better than browsing books is browsing books... 
and then watching a film about books!

Now Showing for March: 

If you think you've had it bad trying to get along with your family during the seemingly endless Covid-19 version of house arrest,  I've got a heck of a literary film for you.  

As we've all lived, worked, schooled and fought over Netflix together, we've come face-to-face with our individual family dynamics, our own strengths and weaknesses, and enough sense memories of feeling trapped we could probably perform a decent production of No Exit.  (That's another great pandemic read, by the way.)

I was in college the last time I read Long Day's Journey Into Night.  While I appreciated O'Neill's Pulitzer prizewinning magnum opus, I never really felt its gravity.  When I reread it last month, I was gutted by it.  

The above adaptation is a faithful following of the script, with no hackneyed Hollywood additions or serious cuts to the text.  This is the play O'Neill wrote, thoughtfully directed by Sidney Lumet and enhanced by Andre Previn's score.  

After spending close to three hours with the dysfunctional, tortured, addicted, anguished Tyrone clan, you'll want to hug your own family members ... even the teens who have decided bathing is unnecessary during lockdown.  (Bonus: if you never really understood why Katharine Hepburn was considered the finest actress of her generation, this film is an incredible corroborating example.  Her portrayal of Mary Tyrone's desperate collapse back into morphine addiction is harrowing, intimate and heartbreaking without ever turning into melodrama.)

Running time: 2 hours, 51 minutes (Make a lot of popcorn and grab a Kleenex box. And possibly a bottle of scotch.)

I highly suggest reading the play. 
This is an excellent fairly recent critical edition,
with a thoughtful introduction by William Davies King.

Check back every month for a new film pick!
(I have other great bookish videos here.)