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CAMILLE

USA, 1937 (MIFF 1999, George Cukor: The Virtuous Sin)

Director: George Cukor

"Like parents crowing over baby's first steps, MGM announced 'Garbo talks!' (for Anna Christie) and 'Garbo laughs!' (for Ninotchka), but they missed out on this one, when they should have crowed 'Garbo acts!' Under George Cukor's direction, she gives a warm yet ironic performance that is possibly her finest. Her Camille is too intelligent for her frivolous life, too generous for her circumstances; actually Garbo is inconceivable as a whore—her Camille is a divinity trying to succeed as a whore. No movie has ever presented a more romantic view of a courtesan... Garbo's artistry triumphs, and the Camille is transformed into the 'classic' the studio claimed it to be."—Pauline Kael, 5001 Nights at the Movies

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