Monday, January 28, 2013

Movie of the Week – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

This week’s movie: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966).

Based on Edward Albee’s play, the drama is about an aging academic couple who invites a young couple over for drinks. Fueled by alcohol, they use the young couple to play out their feelings of anguish and emotional pain towards each other.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is director Mike Nichols’s first film, launching a great career (which includes: The Graduate – which I particularly like, Angels in America, Closer, and Charlie Wilson’s War). He worked with composer Alex North, cinematographer Haskell Wexler (who won an Oscar for the film; he was one of the great D.P.s of the 1960s/1970s shooting this, In the Heat of the Night,  The Conversation, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), and production designer Richard Sylbert (who also won an Oscar for the film).

It stars Elizabeth Taylor (who won an Oscar) and Richard Burton, who both give powerhouse performances – some of the best work of their respective careers. George Segal and Sandy Dennis (who also won an Oscar) feature in support, and are both very good as well.

In all the film won five Oscars and was nominated for Best Picture. At the time of its release, the subject matter was quite controversial, and it still holds its string even today (though, it is not as shocking). Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a must-see for fans of strong rich dramatic performances, as the whole film is centered around the wonderful work of Taylor and Burton.

Trailer: Here
Available on: DVD and Streaming

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