OTB#75: The Shining

The Shining. Stanley Kubrick. 1980. ⚄

Yesterday I watched Salò, and I may have given the impression that it’s more interesting than it is. It isn’t interesting. There’s no reason to watch it; it’s just audience abuse.

So tonight (while waiting for the dinner to cook) I’m watching a much cosier movie.

I don’t think I’ve seen this since … like … I was fourteen? Or something? It was really scary back then.

Oh, Shelley Duvall! She was in all the movies back in the 70s, but I can’t recall seeing here in a while?

Oh, wow. That’s a … depressing career trajectory. She was in all the Altman movies (that’s where I remember her from) and an Allen and a Kubrick and Soderbergh and Campion… then nine crappy B-movies straight and then nothing. I wonder what happened.


I had forgotten how much of a 70s movie this is. I mean, when they show Nicholson’s and Duvall’s kitchen, it’s like a real, messy kitchen. And I didn’t remember how bad of an actor the kid is. (Oh, and the magical cook, too.)

[time passes]

This is proper scary.

Also I didn’t remember that Nicholson’s character was such an asshole to start with, even before he went insane.

[even more time passes]

OK, now I’m mostly bored, but periodically riveted. When this is exciting, it’s really exciting, but there are long swathes where there’s just wall-to-wall bad acting and nothing of interest happens. For a while I wondered whether Kubrick was just going for a stylised Brechtian thing, but, no, there’s just some really really bad actors in here.

Duvall is wonderful, and Nicholson is having so much fun chewing the scenery, but the rest are just… you know… TV quality actors. Sorry for the hate speech!



People at the time hated it:

It was the only one of Kubrick’s last nine films to receive no nominations at all from either the Oscars or Golden Globes, but was nominated for a pair of Razzie Awards, including Worst Director and Worst Actress (Duvall), in the first year that award was given.

More Midori in Illusion

Perhaps I just don’t like Midori? Or Midori with pineapple is horrible?

This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

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