movie film review | chris tookey
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Arthur Hiller
Director, Outrageous Fortune (1968)
Whereas some directors can take complicated pieces of material and turn them into lucid, coherent, effortless looking films, Hiller specializes in taking a relatively straightforward script and turning it into a confused, cluttered mess in which the tone wobbles, the characters never come into focus, and the jokes get lost in the shuffle. Likewise, whereas some directors rise above the cliches inherent in their material, Hiller manages indeed, one cannot help feeling, at times, that he tries his damnedest to make everything in his films seem as pallid and contrived as possible. One looks in vain, in a Hiller film, for a sense of style, of drama of character, of humor, of pace let alone visual interest or imagination or joie de vivre. He directs with a light head and a heavy hand. Alas, the only tried-and-true way to entertain oneself while watching a Hiller film is to tote up the missed opportunities the failures, on Hiller's part, to exploit promising possibilities in the script.
(Bruce Bawer, American Spectator)
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