CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

Despite’s flaws, “Mary Shelley” offers some timely advice Posted on 16 June 2018

Robert DeNiro is not Young Vito Corleone, but he played the character in an Oscar Winning portrayal in The Godfather Part II.” DeNiro also portrayed the “Raging Bull” Jake LaMotta in another Oscar Winning performance. Sometimes, actors get confused between fantasy and reality and think they are the people they are playing. This seems to be the case last Sunday night in Manhattan in which DeNiro portrayed a cult leader in an auditorium filled with sycophantic apostles from the Broadway stage. DeNiro’s profanity laced diatribe criticizing the President of the United States was met with a standing ovation.

As I write this column on Tuesday morning, the divide between entertainment fantasy and political reality has expanded to gargantuan proportions. After a 68 year conflict, President Trump has begun negotiations to denuclearize the despot nation known as North Korea. With dwindling box office and dropping television ratings, entertainment industry leaders may want to rethink supporting a “Fearless Leader” like the delusional DeNiro. With armchair diplomacy and a surging economy, the American consumer may want to become more pragmatic when discussing our current President of the United States, Donald Trump.

Despite entertainment headlines about “Oceans 8” overthrowing “Solo: A Star Wars Story” for the weekend box office crown, sales revenues were flat for the Summer Blockbuster Season. With good word of mouth and full Disney/Pixar backing, expect “The Incredibles 2” to dominate headlines and box office revenue this weekend.

“Mary Shelley” also opens this weekend locally. Forty five years ago on PBS, this English Drama would have been routine programming on Sunday Night’s “Masterpiece Theater.” The film features beautiful scenery, very little action with English people talking a lot.

Elle Fanning portrays “Mary Shelley” and this 20-year-old actress from Conyers, Georgia is quite good as the frail, but strong willed young author. Fanning holds her own with a Veteran British ensemble that features Douglas Booth as Percy Bysse Shelley and Ben Hardy as Doctor Polidori. The three characters write and recite poetry and with one another. The topics of death, women’s liberation and sexual orientation are are also broached.

With the exception of the opening moments when she is reciting ghost stories in a a cemetery, we are three-quarters of the way into the film before we finally see Mary Shelley begin writing the book she is best known for, “Frankenstein.: This dull wait is too long and this is why “Mary Shelley” is such a disappointment to fans of gothic literature.

Besides “The Incredibles 2,” cinematic action will pick up next weekend with the release of “American Animals.” For all of it’s flaws, “Mary Shelley” does contain an important line from Doctor Polidori, “We have created monsters, don’t let them devour us.” Hollywood executives, Broadway producers and Robert DeNiro, take heed.
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