“What do you want from this house?”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Equally compelling is Craig in a role which could easily be tossed off as peripheral or shrewish, but instead posits her as an uneasy bridge between Fox’s two worlds.
Fox, meanwhile, brings just the right blend of arrogance and insecurity required by his role, wherein we easily vaccilate between generalized contempt and authentic pity for his situation.
Viewers should be prepared for an unlikely turn of events midway through, and then another — until one finally realizes this film has become a dark and surreal nightmare. Douglas Slocombe’s shadowy cinematography heightens this sensation:
… and Losey’s direction emphasizes power relations and domination at every turn:
While some have complained that the very odd ending — specifically the unexpected behavior of a particular character — throws one off, I would argue that it’s all of a piece with the film’s vision of Tony’s existence (and by extension, all of upper-class Britain) having become topsy-turvy and unnerved.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)