“The whole world — the stars… Everything is drifting. Is it so bad to drift?”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
While Leigh’s sensitive portrayal is fine and nuanced, Beatty reveals his lack of acting experience by giving a fairly terrible performance — though at least he comes across as authentically obnoxious:
There’s not much to the storyline other than watching a reasonably likable, self-sufficient woman (Leigh is clear on what she wants for herself) being taken for a ride by manipulative bastards — so your enjoyment of this film will depend entirely on whether you’re up for this kind of narrative playing out. The film is also notable for featuring stage actress Lotte Lenya in one of her very few screen roles, and she’s quite effective:
Note: Lenya is likely best known to film fanatics for playing villainous Rosa Klebb in From Russia With Love (1963), but she also starred (much earlier) in G.W. Pabst’s adaptation of her husband Kurt Weill’s Three Penny Opera (1931).
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments: