A very pleasant surprise. I had expected Michael Powell's last feature to be mediocre at best, with the one selling point of a nude, young Helen Mirren, but it's actually a pretty good movie. Not the director's best, of course, but it's quite sweet and beautiful. James Mason plays an Australian painter who has difficulty perfecting an Australian accent. He flees the city for an island in the Great Barrier Reef, where he can relax and paint. There he meets a 17 year old girl (Mirren in her first film role) who dreams of moving to the big city. He's entranced by her beauty, and agrees to fund her dreams if she'll pose for him, often nude. Despite the lurid title, the film isn't sensationalistic or pornographic. Mason's interest, despite what some of the townsfolk might think, is purely artistic. It's much like the film, actually. You might watch it for the naked lady, but you stick around for the artistry. And Powell's artistry is intact, fully. Besides the enveloping cinematography (not to mention some beautiful underwater photography), you'll find plenty of Archers-esquire touches, like the dog chasing toads out the door. The story is pretty thin, but that's not uncommon amongst Powell's many travelogue films. It's often very funny, especially with Jack MacGowran and Neva Carr-Glynn. Oh yeah, and Helen Mirren, 24, gets naked a lot. That's definitely worth checking out!
Age of Consent
Age of Consent
An elderly artist thinks he has become too stale and is past his prime. His friend (and agent) persuades him to go to an off-shore island to try once more. On the island he rediscovers his ...
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April 2, 2019