Sunday, 10 May 2009
Dir: John Schlesinger
Starring: Tom Courtenay, Julie Christie
They say that you should always shave with the grain. Narry Borman sometimes shaves against the grain 'cos it feels strange and it's a bit different.
I love Billy Liar. It's a great film - a brilliant idea put into action in a supreme way. It's been probably 5 years since I last saw it, so I was worried that it might not be as good as I remembered. But it was just as good.
Billy Liar is perhaps cinema's original imaginative, discontented kid, living in a dream world and almost unable to face reality as it is (look at Science of Sleep for the most recent, most crappy example). Julie Christie plays his kindred spirit, but Billy's so far gone that he even let's her slip by (if Julie Christie asked Narry Borman to go to London with her, he'd give up his day job as a testing guinea pig immediately).
Admittedly, this film goes against the grain of my normal taste - it has a thoroughly depressing atmosphere, particularly in the last 30 minutes. But NB sympathizes with Liar's dream world and 'immaturity'.
You can't fault the acting (Courtenay is legendary, Christie is delicious, Pickles is on fire, and Rossiter is snide as a pig). You can't fault the script. You can't fault the direction.