3 hours ago
A Streetcar Named Desire (directed by Elia Kazan, 1951)
"Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."
A beautiful Southern blonde emerges from the smoke that comes from a train's engine, almost like a mystical creature that appeared from pure magic. She wears posh clothes, she speaks softly with a rich vocabulary, she's a true high-class lady. Blanche DuBois, she utters her name so sweetly and elegantly. Yet, there's something that troubles her. She left her employment as an English teacher in her school to come to live with her sister Stella and husband in New Orleans. She's expecting her sister to have a lush big house and a gallant husband, but when she arrives, after taking a streetcar through this lustful city, reality slowly starts seeping into her fanciful world - there is no big palace, only a small decadent apartment, there is no gallant husband, only a toxic brute. Slowly the smokescreen of illusions she creates around herself, almost like a parallel reality created by herself to protect herself from the harsh unbearable reality, starts crumbling as she is confronted by the reality of her illusions. This is probably the most exquisitely crafted drama ever put into film. Elia Kazan, through an extraordinary direction, creates what is in my opinion the finest masterpiece of the Old Hollywood Classic Era. Everything in it is only describable as masterful, the brilliant and rich dialogues of Tennessee Williams that elevate every scene into a poetic feast that one can't help but be entranced by them, the brilliant cinematography that truly makes every scene a dazzling experience, and the truly baffling performances by everyone. Vivien Leigh does one of the best performances ever captured by a camera, perfectly portraying the troubled Blanche DuBois and her illusions. You can truly see the illuded sould of Blanche through her big sparkly eyes that are almost the eyes of a child entranced in a world created by herself, and slowly we see this illusion get out of control through her nuanced expressions and in the perfect little inflections in her speech. (Continues in comments)