The Bad and the Beautiful (PG)
15 July 2012
In the early 1950s Hollywood made several films about itself, and by far the best of them is The Bad and the Beautiful, directed by Vincente Minnelli at the height of his powers. Told in three long flashbacks, this is the story of producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas). We learn about the man from different perspectives: that of a director (Barry Sullivan), writer (Dick Powell) and a star (Lana Turner). It’s a film filled with insights, emotions, wit and visual brilliance. One reason why this is the best of the Hollywood-on-Hollywood films is that no director as good as Minnelli ever made one, and in this film all his trademarks are on full display: complex camera movements, perfectly pitched performances and lavish decor, with every single shot a marvel of mise-en-scène.