Barry Lyndon (1975) Film Review A

DIRECTOR: Stanley Kubrick.
BOTTOM LINE: In Stanley Kubrick’s “Barry Lyndon” (1975), there is a moment where Barry (Ryan O’Neal) finds two soldiers naked and holding hands in a pond. They confess their love for each other. In times like this, I realize how much I care for you and how impossibly empty life would be without you. Barry overhears their conversation. He takes advantage of the situation, steals the clothes of one of the men, and assumes his identity. The scene is humorous. But does it mock the lovers? The first time I saw it, I thought so. However, I have come to look at the scene more favorably on repeated viewings. It shows that same-sex love existed in the eighteenth century. It is an incidental moment, and the scene does not go beyond this. However, the expression of true love remains with the viewer. Gay Actor Murray Melvin plays the Reverend Runt, who, by all appearances, is devoted to Lady Lyndon (Marisa Berenson) but is cruelly dismissed by Barry’s mother (Marie Kean). The most memorable scene is the card game filmed in natural candlelight with Schubert’s Piano Trio in E Flat on the soundtrack. The film was adapted (from the novel “The Luck of Barry Lyndon” by William Makepeace Thackeray), directed and produced by Kubrick. At Oscar time, he was three for three when the nominations were announced but lost to “One Flew Over the Cucko’s Nest” in all three categories.

Of its seven nominations, it won four:

Best Cinematography (John Alcott)

Best Adapted Score (Leonard Rosenman)

Best Production Design

Best Costume Design

STREAMING: Amazon Prime, Apple TV+

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