The Graduate - Mike Nichols, 1967
I had high expectations for this classic (I love Nichols' Closer and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?). For the first half hour or so I was enthralled – Mrs. Robinson was dynamite, the dialogue was snappy and there were some great little scenes (through-the-leg shot was cool and I liked the one where the camera is in the bedroom watching Ben fumbling on the stairs, begging him to return to the bedroom). Their vapid relationship was set-up fantastically and was a great precursor to the necessary confrontation: “we’re going to have a conversation.” Angst creeps in, things are uneasy, how will this develop? Well ... it doesn’t, it just stops dead. Mrs. Robinson (the only interesting character) just disappears, the boring daughter comes in and consequently the movie just dies. With the departure of Mrs. Robinson, nobody says anything interesting and we are stuck watching a bunch of insipid fools. I don’t understand how something so good can go so bad. First 30 minutes: 9/10. The rest: 3/10.