(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)
(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)
SW SCORE: 45
4.5 out of 5 🐙
I love it when a movie surprises me. The only thing I knew about Tom Jones was that the movie title was the same as the name of a famous musician. I’m a fan of the singer but I knew the movie had nothing to do with him. Or does it? I’m not gonna do an internet search or properly research to see if there is a connection. That wouldn’t be my brand. I went in as blind as I could with this movie. All I knew was that it was a period piece. I didn’t know it was even a comedy.
But what a comedy! What a movie! It blends a silent film prologue, 4th wall ruptures, Benny Hill-style set pieces, pitch-perfect comic acting, bawdy antics, some shockingly edgy and wicked dialogue, a Dickensian undercarriage, twists that would rest easy in Les Liasions dangereuses, slapdash combat spoofs with ludicrous background scores, George R. R. Martin insanity, an old fashioned love story, and a kind soul, to form a movie unlike any I’ve seen before.
I don’t want to say more or go into sharper detail because I want you all to go in fresh. There is just so much that is fresh and unique and surprising and amazing in this joint. Also, I’m also very lazy. But I would be remiss if I didn’t applaud the following turns:
Albert Finney is charming and noble and shamelss as the titular character.
Joyce Redman is wicked and sensual as Mrs. Waters.
Jack McGowan is earnest and kind as Partridge.
George Devine is loyal beyond reproach as Squire Allworthy.
Diane Cilento is bawdy and naughty and hilarious as Molly Seagrim.
Peter Bull is gut-busting funny as the mega-snob Thwackum.
Susannah York is sweet and strong as Sophie Westen.
Squire Western is hilariously and constantly drunk and hypocritical and bold as Squire Western.
I almost gave this movie a perfect 50 sharkwrighter score. I wouldn’t be mad if you yell at me for not doing so. Go ahead and check this out, please. It’s just f*cking fantastic.
(Oh, and a special shout out to Micheál Mac Liammóir, the droll narrator who hits every word into heaven)
(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.
(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)
(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so
(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)