Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia. Ridiculously spectacular, most especially the visuals and the acting. Lots of good laugh lines, too. I’m very grateful I got to see this on a big theater screen. I didn’t realize the new 4K restoration was showing in Atlanta until a few hours beforehand. Totally lucked out. What a great experience.

Also, David Lean? This, Doctor Zhivago, and Brief Encounter? There’s a resume for you. I need see some more of his work.

Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago. Beautifully set, shot, and acted, but know that this is pure soap opera. That said, after a little warm-up, I was rapt for the first two hours. The last hour is weaker. Just set your skeptic filters low and let yourself get swept away. It’s a great cast of imperfect people. Our hero, Omar Sharif, is a little annoying. The reliable Rod Steiger is a perfect asshole. Julie Christie is tough, and in her role as Lara is maybe the most attractive modestly-dressed character I’ve seen on film. Frumpy Russian winterwear never looked so good. Perfect lighting helps. Anyway, Ebert calls it “an example of superb old-style craftsmanship at the service of a soppy romantic vision, and although its portentous historical drama evaporates once you return to the fresh air, watching it can be seductive”. I would watch it again.