Sunday, October 7, 2012

Rosemary's Baby

Directed by Roman Polanski.
1968. Rated R, 136 minutes. 
Mia Farrow 
John Cassavetes 
Ruth Gordon 
Sidney Blackmer

Director Roman Planski's horror classic in which Rosemary believes there is a cult out to harm her and her unborn baby. Truth be told, it's more psychological thriller than horror. The movie's strength is predicated on the main character's mounting paranoia that we think is justified but aren't completely sure. This is due to some rather wicked dream sequences. They're so daring that even though the movie is over 40 years old it would still earn an an R rating and garner some outrage if it were made today. Mia Farrow's powerful performance makes the whole thing plausible. It's one of those performances that just gets better and better as the film goes along. During the first 15 or 20 minutes her work is nothing special. Her line deliveries are flat and everything about her suggest she's not up to the task of carrying a movie. By the end however, she has a commanding presence that you can't keep your eyes off. Most interesting is as Farrow's work grows stronger, her character is actually becoming weaker. Finally, the ambiguous ending and Polanski's great restraint just gives you an uneasy feeling as the final credits roll.

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