6 January 2009 | dechampsmathieu
Preminger's fatigue and decadence
I have been for some time a great fan of Otto Preminger's work and cinematic career. From "Laura" (1944) to "Advise & Consent" (1962), the Austrian director has demonstrated that he is capable of indisputable Hollywood masterpieces. Yet, the later work of Preminger finds me puzzled and bewildered. "Tell me that you love me, Junie Moon" is certainly not a good film. On the contrary, it is a clear sign of the director's fatigue and decadence. The plot is full of outworn clichés and Marjorie Kellogg's screenplay is often weak and naive - from Arthur's ridiculous hallucinations to the vacation, there's nothing veritable. Moreover, Preminger doesn't seem to be interested to add his characteristic style in the direction. Some scenes are clumsily set and the film generally has the form of an unimaginative b-movie melodrama. The only two scenes that we can distinguish are the one in the cemetery and the visit to the rich landlady's house - Preminger successfully outlines the baroque atmosphere of these scenes. Liza Minelli gives a decent performance, Robert Moore is more interesting and Ken Howard typically mediocre. Finally, there is nothing special about the soundtrack - "Old Devil Time" is a dull and pretentious ballad and there's nothing memorable about the rest - which is very disappointing, as well as Saul Bass's opening title.