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Rosemary’s Baby

October 19, 2012

directed by Roman Polanski, 1968

Without actress Mia Farrow, Roman Polanski’s 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby perhaps isn’t the classic that we know today. Inhabiting the crucial and now infamous lead role with such sheer force and authenticity, the slender actress would become a trailblazer for disturbed female characters for a long time after this film would be released. Natalie Portman, who won the Best Actress Oscar for Black Swan and Nicole Kidman in Birth immediately come to mind, the latter of whom Farrow’s performance seems inevitably linked to; these are oppressed heroines grappling with forces usually unbeknownst to them. Polanski’s film is crafted in such a way that it offers Farrow’s Rosemary little room to breathe or even function. There’s no shortage of dread within, as the music that bookends the film suggests an undercurrent of the unpleasant; a trait that rarely lets up throughout the rather extended running time. What’s most surprising is how a film made nearly 45 years ago can put most modern horror films to shame.

Full review at Sound on Sight

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