HitchcOctober Day 21: Family Plot

Blanche (Barbara Harris) is a phony psychic (otherwise known as just a psychic) who is currently pretending to communicate with the deceased sister of her latest client, Mrs. Rainbird (Cathleen Nesbitt). Rainbird is exceedingly wealthy and very old, but her only known relative and heir is her nephew, her sister’s son, who was given away as a child to protect the family’s honour. Blanche is recruited to find the son, and uses her partner George (Bruce Dern), an actor working as a taxi driver and moonlighting as a private detective, to help. Meanwhile, two kidnappers (William Devane and Karen Black) have just collected their latest ransom – a rather large diamond – in a flawlessly executed crime. It’s not long before these two plots become entangled within one another in Hitchcock’s final completed film.4624
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The Artist

That’s right! I’ve been to the cinema twice in 5 days! Haven’t done that since I was single! Anyway, I managed to convince Aisha to come with me to see the Artist, the modern made silent film about the birth of the ‘talkies’, currently bothering awards ceremonies and set to win big at the Oscars next month. The film was excellent; it didn’t overplay the silent gimmick, even using it for some well timed and perfectly executed comic beats, and the performances were flawless, especially from leads Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo, and the adorable dog Uggie.
The plot was a tad predictable, concerning Dujardin’s silent movie star losing his way amid the encroaching sound-laden future, whilst Bejo’s struggling extra finds spoken dialogue could lead to a promising career, but then the plots of silent movies often were, especially by today’s standards, where 99% of stories are entirely made from previous pictures. The supporting cast of well known or know-the-face actors, including John Goodman, James Cromwell, Missi Pyle and Malcolm MacDowell, was a little off putting, as many had wordless roles I was waiting to crop up again, but other than that this was a near perfect film that’s my current frontrunner for best picture.

Choose film 9/10