12 November 2018 | TheLittleSongbird
On top of being a huge fan of classic film for goodness knows how long, my main reason for seeing 'Brief Moment' was Carole Lombard. A lovely and always well worth watching actress who died tragically, in one of the worst and most tragic ways to die, far too young with so much more to give. It is always interesting too to see older drama films, whether romantic or melodrama, and those dealing with society/class differences.
'Brief Moment' may not be my definition of a great film and some film-goers today may find a fair deal to criticise it. It however was a very pleasant film that kept me most of the time engaged and entertained, a nice way to pass the time. One of those films that does a lot right but one does wish there could have been more. Just be prepared that there is very little challenging here (which for some actually is a good thing) and one should not demand too much.
It is perhaps unexceptional from a story standpoint, it's pretty thin and sometimes it lacks momentum from moments of static direction and where it feels like a stage play that doesn't always properly open up.
Excepting Monroe Owsley, wringing every ounce of juice out of the most interesting supporting character in the film, the supporting cast are a little bland in fairly sketchy roles. It also feels far too short.
Visually on the other hand, 'Brief Moment' looks beautiful. The cinematography clearly loved Lombard, who looks absolutely radiant in the film, and it is very elegantly produced. "Say What You Mean..." is a lovely heartfelt song that does provide heart. While with little challenging and a little safe at times, the script has wit and class with thought-providing and well-meaning moments.
The story may not be exceptional, but it is amiable, engaging and at least clearly knew what it wanted to be and who to aim it at. Owsley is great fun, but it's the leads that 'Brief Moment' is worth seeing for. Especially Lombard, by far the best thing about the film, a very classy and sensitive performance and one cannot take their eyes off her. Gene Raymond is a likeable leading man and their chemistry makes one believe in their love.
Summing up, a very pleasant watch. 7/10 Bethany Cox