Set during World War II, an upper-class family begins to fall apart due to the conservative nature of the patriarch and the progressive values of his children.Set during World War II, an upper-class family begins to fall apart due to the conservative nature of the patriarch and the progressive values of his children.Set during World War II, an upper-class family begins to fall apart due to the conservative nature of the patriarch and the progressive values of his children.
The acting, writing, cinematography, etc. are all exemplary. It is, i believe, the movie's episodic structure which ultimately makes it seem rather uneventful when, in reality, the story is made up of many quite important events. An episodic structure, can work just fine, of course, but, as with most successful stories, it still needs to have a certain "build" to it in order to really satisfy. If that "build" IS here in this movie, it is so muted as to be incoherent to most viewers. Not that Mr and Mrs Bridge is not worth viewing! In fact, its thematics are well worth discussing. In my eyes, the parents represent an older, more traditional way of life on the verge of irreversible change, as personified by their children (though one or two of them eventually settle back into the groove). The country club/tornado sequence seems especially significant in light of such a reading, that a "storm" is on its way and they had better take cover. That Mr Bridge should remain steadfast in its occurence speaks volumes about his character. There are myriads of wonderful little character traits, etc., in this movie worth pondering, by the way.
While Mr Bridge is a fascinating persona, it is Mrs Bridge who, for me, remains central to the film. In fact, it might be THE major statement of the movie that this suburban woman has begun to awaken to how sheltered (stifled?) she and others like her have been. Though she does yearn for more--in a sense she really does want to be fully awakened--she never becomes more than vaguely enlightened. She realizes--even accepts with a great deal of comfort--how "lucky" they are to have lived such a privileged life. Though there have been many victims of female discontentedness (e.g. her friend Grace), she and many like her have adapted quite well to their mode of survival and comfortable living. It simply means sacrificing all of those crazy dreams that artistic types pursue, not to mention sacrificing passion--real passion--for life.
There are many significant instances to underscore Mrs Bridge's circumstance as a woman dependent on her man, but none better, perhaps, than the at the end of the movie as a pampered victim in a car: "hello? hello? is there anybody there?"...indeed!
- May 22, 2000