Essay Film Stillman Whit

Tom (Edward Clements) is necessarily the figure who sets himself apart from the crowd, the insecure rebel and proudly hesitant prospective member.

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The story gets rolling when Audrey falls in love with Tom, which prompts him to actively resume his dormant infatuation with the icily distant Serena Slocum (Elizabeth Thompson). Scott Fitzgerald’s sincere young heroes, although the world he enters is more closely knit and fundamentally provincial than Fitzgerald’s haut monde. (None of these allusions are exactly concealed by the director, who also wrote the script.) Austen is virtually a character in the story, but Stillman manages to avoid its seeming coy when, for example, Tom and Audrey argue about the “immorality” of the young players in Mansfield Park (Tom, characteristically, has not read the book, but relies on Lionel Trilling’s account, since critics spare readers needless toil by supplying the writer’s views as well as their own).

Nick, just as game to fight a duel as to participate in a déclassé, nationally televised ball featuring debs from the hinterlands and their military escorts, is a romantic fatalist who would be at home everywhere and nowhere.

Sally is fully endowed with poise and decorativeness, but she wants to be a pop star.

His parents are divorced, and even though he comes from the right background, he now lives on the infra dig Upper West Side (back when the Upper West Side was infra dig) with his mother, who has no money of her own.

Thus he spends a lot of time concealing his deficiencies—that his tuxedo is rented, for example, or that he wears a raincoat because he can’t afford an overcoat.


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