Saturday, March 9, 2019
Film Review: Stella Dallas
Sophia Sullivan FLM2009-630 The Art of Film M. dark-brown Melodrama Stella Dallas (1937) Dir. King Vidor. Starring Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara ONeil, Alan Hale. MGM (DVD) This pip follows our protagonist, Stella (Barbara Stanwyck) through her expedition of courtship, marriage to loss. Stella sneaks her way into meeting Stephen Dallas (John Boles) after finding out in a tabloid magazine article about his family fortune creation loss and him closeing his engagement to Helen (Barbara ONeil) the heartyite.Stellas complete devotion to her female child bay wreath (Anne Shirley) and her reluctance to change who she is, keeps her from moving to New York with her freshly promoted husband Stephen (John Boles). Living separate lives, not completely confessing to the fact that the cope with was what would currently be called legally separated due to probable censors. The films thematic of maternal sacrifice and the loneliness, devotion of the film catch this m ovie to become what is admit in the film industry as a Weepie.The Mise-en-scene of the film is predominantly domestic and focused on the excesses of interiors and Stellas outlandish fashions. The film cannot be categorized as realistic, even though it seems naturalistic at times. The storytelling of Stellas ceaseless journey to burst her life sendecadece and that of Laurels, is purely stylized. Stellas persona sticks out like a sore thumb against the socialite circles, dressing in the eccentric fashions she deems as stylish, sermon too loud, not fitting into the lady-like deportment her husband demanded.This being the arrive ship of all maternal melodramas, Stella sets a mold for the mevery to follow. The constant waves of swoony and striking music create an emotional musical blanket throughout the film. Setting the moods in the scenes from euphoric to sad with one wave of the conductors hand. The acting at times seemed unnatural and campy, like a modern day Soap Opera. The lives and differences of the social classes in this film was everyday at the time. I guess being that a large dower of the populace were currently lower to middle class Americans.The theater was the crowning(prenominal) form of escapism to the masses. The melodrama was a peephole of sorts into the gorgeous and painfully dramatic lives of the wealthy. Stella ends up making the definitive maternal sacrifice at the end of the film. She turns her daughter against her to guarantee her daughter the future she herself wanted one time, forsake her own happiness. To give up a peasant so that child could be happy is a dreadfully painful sacrifice to any loving mother.In the final scene of the film, Stella watching with the crowd outside the window of Stephens new home, as their daughter weds into a wealthy family. Laurel now is not associated with the brassy Stella and has been accepted into the social circle of the elite. She watches as Laurel weds, with tears rolling down her face, th e rain soaking her. She and so turns away and walks down the street triumphantly with a huge make a face on her face. This feminine sacrifice completes her daughters road to happiness. The melodrama is known for its sudden shift in emotions.One moment Stella is yelling at her daughter for finding the dress she was making her as a surprise and ten seconds later she is hugging her and telling her how much she loves her. In my opinion this writing style juxtaposes moments of utter happiness and bliss with the abrupt change to hysterics and tears furthermost too quickly to not require a psych consult. I know this film is a classic and a classic to the melodrama genre, but I just dont get it. I guess it was the social norm at the time to look upon women with esteem for giving everything up to guarantee the happiness of child, marriage and home.But then again she could have been happy enough with herself to not want to marry someone just to better herself. She would marry someone who loved her for who she was and where she came from. She could of raised her child with a inexpugnable sense of self that would have her become a role fabric and not an embarrassment. I speculate that was not the case when it came to creating a melodrama. thank you King Vidor for creating the blueprint for all Lifetime Channel movies. Like litoral through the hourglass..