Saturday, December 1, 2012

Age of Consent

An aging artist (James Mason), feeling uninspired in New York City, returns to his native country for inspiration, seeking solace on a gorgeous, supposedly deserted isle off The Great Barrier Reef. To his surprise, he meets a beautiful, teen aged island inhabitant (Helen Mirren) who quickly becomes his muse, which leads to cases of blackmail and extortion, initiated by an old chum (Jack MacGowran) and the girl's wicked, boozy grandmother (Neva Carr-Glynn). "Age of Consent" was the last film in the remarkable career of the innovative director Michael Powell, and was made after a period of ostracism following the release of his controversial, ahead of its time "Peeping Tom" in 1960. Based on an autobiographical book by the Australian artist Norman Lindsay, it features a late career performance from Mason and a very early one from Mirren (who is incredibly sexy in the picture), both of which are excellent, and the central relationship between the two is surprisingly sweet. This is also a great looking picture, containing many of Powell's expected flourishes and like most of his films, many which were made with Emeric Pressburger, it ends well. The only flaw are the supporting performances from MacGowran and Carr-Glynn which are highly obnoxious and counter the tone of the film.