Sunday, 2 December 2012

Harold and Maude (1971)

Harold and Maude,1971,USA
Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Bud Cort,Ruth Gordon & Vivian Pickles
''Harold, *everyone* has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much.''

Film #7 of The December Project

'Harold and Maude' is a wildly praised film, I have so many great things about it, not only on Letterboxd but pretty much everywhere. I finally decided to get around to watching it, I mean how can a film with a soundtrack by Cat Stevens be bad ?

Harold is a well off but miserable and lonely young man who is consumed by death, weather it be staging hes own suicide or attending Funeral's as a hobby. During his attendance of one funeral in particular, he meets Maude, an adventurous older woman, who shares his interest in demise, but in a more optimistic manner. Together the two strike up an unlikely friendship, that will benefit Harold as Maude shows him the importance of living.

'Harold and Maude' is an unexpectedly beautiful cinematic experience, I was not expecting such heart filled film. The film can be considered a black comedy, it deals with suicide and death but its still so damn funny, Colin Higgins screenplay is genius, it mixes so many emotions, pain,sadness,happiness, grief, its really involving and moving.

The film is directed by Hal Ashby, who has directed numerous great films, he brings Higgins' screenplay to life in an utterly beautiful way. Despite its emotional overtones, the film can really be hysterically funny, Bud Cort's performance as Harold is brilliant and riddled with dry humor, his suicide stagings are very memorable and funny. 

Cat Steven's soundtrack is of course brilliant and so fitting to the film, especially the song 'If You Want To Sing Out,Sing Out', the song plays during the final scene and its just perfect.

I love the films message, The importance of life, Harold is an obviously sad young man and when he meets Maude he progressively finds happiness, its a feel good film, despite its tragic ending I still felt on top of the world as the film finished.

Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon's performances as the title characters are just perfect. Cort is so relateable and such a sympathetic and misunderstood character, Gordon is phenomenal in her role as she destroys the typical stereotypes of playing an elderly woman, and turns in an unforgettable performance.

'Harold and Maude' definitely lived up to my expectations. Its a black comedy that really warms the heart and makes you feel really good. Very smart and witty with incredible performances.


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