Monday, June 13, 2016

The Elephant Man (1980)

 Academy Awards, USA 1981

Best Picture
Jonathan Sanger
Best Actor in a Leading Role
John Hurt
Best Director
David Lynch
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Christopher De Vore
Eric Bergren
David Lynch
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration
Stuart Craig
Robert Cartwright
Hugh Scaife
Best Costume Design
Patricia Norris
Best Film Editing
Anne V. Coates
Best Music, Original Score
John Morris

Paramount Pictures
Directed by David Lynch
My rating: 3.5 stars out of 4
(DVD, Paramount)

Anthony Hopkins is a a doctor in Victorian London who finds a deformed man in a circus sideshow. He takes him back to the hospital where he works and tries to keep him in an upstairs room. The hospital's governor at first rejects the idea, but later comes to accept that the man be curable after all. Hopkins gradually teaches him how to behave in polite society, culminating in a night at the theater. However, a hospital employee sells tickets to street people to secretly visit him at night and his old sideshow owner reappears to claim him. A very moving portrait of what it means to be human, brilliantly acted by John Hurt under tons of makeup. Interesting companion piece to David Lynch's first film Eraserhead, with which it shares some similarities, though in a more acceptable Hollywood studio film.

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