Age of Consent


(1969, Michael Powell)

Odd to say, but it felt like a movie you’d watch at 2 a.m. on Skinemax.

Director Michael Powell captures the stunningly beautiful Great Barrier Reef in Australia, as well as James Mason and a very young Helen Mirren. Mason plays an aging artist who has lost his fire, until Ms. Mirren becomes his muse. Now there’s no sex between the two leads, but lots of skin, and not much plot. In fact, the whole endeavor seems pointless and rather juvenile. It’s allegedly a comedy, but a clumsy one at best. The primary reason to see this is Mirren’s fearless performance. And, okay, the rest of Mirren, you leering pervs.

Attribute it to the 60’s if you must, but great scenery (and the Reef’s nice too!) does not a good movie make.

Other notes:

  • It turned out to be Powell’s last feature film. I’ve heard that his 1960 film Peeping Tom caused such a ruckus that it was difficult for him to find work.
  • There might be an argument to call this a companion to Mason’s work in Lolita, where an older man falls victim to the beauty of a much younger female.
  • This was Mirren’s first screen role, but she was already a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in England.



Posted on May 15, 2008, in Film log and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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