Friday, January 15, 2010

Review: The Bishop's Wife

I read a review about this movie before I began it. It was not a favorable review, so I was prepared to not like it. I will admit that this movie does kind of flirt with a line. You have to be a little cynical to see it and very cynical to look for it. Plot: A biship, who is trying to raise money for a cathedral sends a prayer to God. The answer to his prayer: Dudley - an angel from heaven. While the bishop continues to work after the money, Dudley goes to work on those around the bishop - especially the bishop's wife. He sort of fills in to where the husband should be. Never anything improper, but like I said a line is flirted with - and the lady as well. It is a good story - and it ends well. I think the person watching the movie was hoping for something a little more dramatic (if that is what you are looking for, see the star vehicle of a remake) If you want something simple and sweet with some comedy in it, watch this. I'm not saying which is better, but this one was made for its time and the remake was made for its time - I guess it just depends on which time you like better.
I find this one as charming as Grant is himself - and this role seems to be written for his particular charm. The overall message is the point of the thing, and it is near the end that the most beautiful moments occur. Finding faith, finding love, and finding the miracle of the simplicity of human life.
My favorite and not favorite part happen to be the same thing strangely enough. It occurs at a skating pond. I don't like it because it is all rather fake (they did a terrible job on the skating double for Grant) and I think they over-played the miracle a bit too much - it would have been more fun to just show them having a good time at the rink without all the fancy moves. But, then again, I also love it because there is a simple beauty in the entertainment of going skating - the whole scene seems like something out of the beautiful remembered past. Everyone of all types and abilities mixing together on the ice: the young, the old, the professionals, and those new comers. It's nostaglia at its best.
The special effects are really quite fun to watch - espeically because they are so dated. Not realistic at all, but they have a certain magic to them that modern effects don't have. I guess that is just has to do with my affection for the primitive ;)
All in all, a delightful film. 3 and 1/2 out of 5 stars

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