Saturday, September 16, 2017

Barry Lyndon

The rise and fall of Redmond Barry (Ryan O'Neal), an Irishman born to modest means in the late 18th Century who finds himself exiled from his village following a duel over a flame, robbed blind of all possessions, serving and deserting in two armies, before acquainting with a disreputable cardsharp and weasling his way into high society but finding himself unable to keep his footing there. Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, from a Thackeray novel, is among the coldest, most calculated, and painstaking of all his features which also bears some of the most striking and pristine cinematography ever put to film, courtesy of John Alcott. O'Neal's performance is underplayed and excellent while given great support by a company of virtual unknowns. The film is long and slow-burning, but extremely involving and endlessly fascinating.
**** out of ****