4 comments on “Mrs. Miniver (1942)

  1. Thank you so much for this review, because my group of classic movie friends tends to be OBSESSED with Greer Garson, and hence Mrs. Miniver is hailed as one of the great movies of all time. It’s really refreshing to hear a different perspective.

    I personally have a great fondness for Mrs. Miniver partly because of one of the things that turned you off–the normalcy of the family. I think the sheer normalcy of them shows that there really ARE families that nothing happens to–and yet the war still affects them in their day-to-day lives. The foreshadowing with nothing coming out of it I think also serves a purpose–showing the doubts of the family, that they realize that something might happen, and the fact that he does come back adds to further instability–though in this one instance it turned out well, nothing is certain. One of my favorite scenes in ALL of cinema is the one in which the Miniver family is hiding in their shelter, and as the bombs go off all around them, Mrs. Miniver reads “Alice in Wonderland.” It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

    Anyway, I really appreciate this review, and your complete honesty in reviewing a film that does tend to be put on a pedestal as one of the greats. It shows your integrity as a blogger and your respect for movies!

    • Thanks so much! I always get scared when I don’t agree with a classic film considering the fervent fanbases for these. Then again, I’ve been surprised by so many movies that aren’t highly praised I think it balances things out. Thanks for reading!

  2. I am really surprised and saddened that you didn’t like this movie. I think the perfectness you are feeling uncomfortable with is actually their Englishness. They feel very deeply but there stiff upper lip holds everything together and keeps them from going crazy or, as an American would see it, being very interesting or realistic. I love the dignity of this film and I thought the understated performances were heartwrenching. I think it is a more realistic war movie because it shows the unglamorous, unromantic everyday life on the homefront, which for the English, was actually the front line. So much of their lives are unravelled, in a way never experienced on the American homefront. This film really pays tribute to the everyday citizens of Britain in a really beautiful way, I thought.
    That said, I think you will enjoy THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIFE and I’m looking forward to reading what you think about it!

    http://thegreatkh.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/myrna-loy-august-2-on-tcm.html

    • I can definitely see the opposite argument, that the film doesn’t dissolve to melodramatic war conventions and shows a “normal” family but they just seemed too perfect, too in the spotlight of everyone’s world that they didn’t seem normal but the light of everyone’s lives. I do have Best Years and I’m determined to make a decision on which one is better.

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