A Streetcar Named Desire, 50 Films/50 Weeks

Lee Anne:

I did not enjoy this film.
For me, it was excruciatingly slow.

Though I tend to enjoy dramas more than most other genres…
Though I tend to appreciate what I believe to be the reality of hardship…

Something about the brokenness of the female lead’s character in this film just did not sit with me.

I guess if I had to choose a word to describe this film, it would have to be: angry.

I felt angry the whole time. It feels like every scene was overshadowed with, saturated with anger.

It was pure tragedy.
There was nothing good or redeeming about the story…
Only constant spiraling downward.

I guess what I didn’t enjoy most was that it felt like a waste of time.
In my opinion, it wasn’t worth watching.
I didn’t learn anything, there was no cathartic release in the journey, there was no benefit or growth.
And, again, in my opinion, it wasn’t even that good of a story for enjoyment.

I also must add that the female lead’s character annoyed me.
The.
whole.
time.
Her voice, her clothes, her personality, her makeup. Her attitude. Her persistent demand, deception, and need.

I wouldn’t recommend it.
In case you missed it, I wish I hadn’t watched it.
{Other than to check one off our list – but of course, I’d prefer to replace it with another.}

That’s all.
Let’s hear from

John:

When faced with the task of reflecting on this film, I struggled. It’s a beautiful film – the black and white cinematography with a low contrast film stock gave the whole story a dream like feel. The film starts off with the main character living in a delusional dream world.

As we watch, everything she does begins to take on a hint of pretense, as if she is acting for everyone around her the part of maiden in distress. One of the other main characters, Stanley (played by Marlon Brando), is both emotionally and physically abusive to his wife Stella. It’s often hard to watch.
We discover at the core of this marriage is a smoldering sexuality, something very good in a healthy marriage but deadly when it replaces true connection and communication. As Stella works hard to make space for her sister (the delusional one), Stanley does almost everything he can to make her feel like an outcast.

The acting was truly great. Performances were raw and real, nothing about the interactions seemed planned or plotted. With the organic nature of the acting none of the usual “And then they….” predictions happened.

Cinema like this always brings up the same question: Is this a story worth telling?

Evil words, evil actions with no feel good ending and nothing even resembling a positive worldview. Should stories like Stanley and Stella’s get the time and attention of a feature film?

For this film I would say yes – looking at the lust and pain of Stanley and Stella I had to wrestle with my own evil heart and how desperately I need a savior – from myself. So the story is not so much a model to live by but a solid reminder that people who don’t seem “that bad” can do and say things that destroy life all around them. This process of wrestling with hard realities of life is one of the most important parts of cinema – it’s one of the main reasons I wanted to become a filmmaker in the first place.

7 thoughts on “A Streetcar Named Desire, 50 Films/50 Weeks”

  1. I really love the format of these… and I do need to watch Schindler’s list (I know, wrong entry haha).

    If my future fiancee refuses to do a blog like this with me, she won’t be my wife.

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    1. Well, thank you.
      I personally chose the format of these because I figured I’d get my lame opinion out of the way & end with John’s awesome review.
      Also, will that blog be something like “drewloveswife.com”? 🙂

      Like

    2. You might just have the best comment on We Roquemore right here. I started falling for Lee Anne after she agreed to watch The Office. Stories orient us to life and the people around us, never made sense to have a spouse who dislikes the stories that so deeply move me.

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  2. I’ve never seen Streetcar either. And after reading your review, I’m curious to watch it to see if I feel the same way.

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  3. Read this in high school and was highly annoyed that it was assigned when there are so many amazing books to choose from… haven’t seen the movie and won’t, because, like LA said, so many better ones to watch.. although I did appreciate John’s positive spin on something I would otherwise completely discard.

    Like

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