Best Picture Reviews: The Life Of Emile Zola

Unknown-12And no, this is not a picture of the old guy from Mary Poppins, but it is a picture of Emile Zola, the star of the tenth best picture in a row. I’d say ‘It Happened One Night’ is the best so far, but i’ll go into more detail on that after i’m done with all the best pictures, when i’ll basically make a chart on which one had the best director, actor, actress, etc. But does the tenth anniversary of the Oscars live up to your expectations? Let’s take a look.

Emile Zola (Paul Muni) is a famous writer of controversial literature. He is hired by a woman to clear the name of her husband (Joseph Schildkraut) because no lawyers will listen to her.

Now, this is the first Best Picture in a while that I can actually say I was glad to see. First of all, the acting is very good. This is the first Best Picture to win Best Supporting Actor (the award didn’t exist until just recently) for Schildkraut, who does a really good job playing a soldier stripped of his armor and sent to jail. His wife is also exceptionally good, easily showing the anguish of a loving wife. I only wish there would have been more of her. A lot of the movie focuses on Muni, who is very good, particularly in his monologue near the end. The movie has a firm foundation but doesn’t always go in the direction you would hope. I will give credit to the script and the art direction, cinematography, and editing. It all works to the films advantage.

The movie does function like a courtroom drama, and if that’s your cup of tea, I’d say give it a watch. If not though, I’d say come to your own conclusion. It may not be for everybody, but personally, it left me feeling a little better than before the movie started, which is the mark of a grand film.

***1/2

2 thoughts on “Best Picture Reviews: The Life Of Emile Zola

  1. I love your Blog. If you have not seen it yet I recommend you watch Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart. It is one of my favorite movies. Also, North By Northwest with Cary Grant is also another favorite. It was Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

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