A boring, overbloated film that's more troubling than romantic in its presentation of Texan ideology. I can't believe anyone would or could still champion this as a great film. Really it's only purpose now is to underscore the late James Dean's career as a brooding 50s heartthrob who died tragically young. The rest is tedious, dated and shameful.
Giant may have some classic moments that ultimately make its viewing worth it, and James Dean shows he was clearly ahead of his time. Still, Stevens can't handle the material which is not particularly great to start with. Giant deserves its status as a classic, but hardly its status as a masterpiece.
Stevens' majestic direction tries turning the Edna Ferber novel into something epic but winds up an overindulgent and overlong film salvaged by a trio of lead performances at odds with each other. Wide screen lensing by William C. Mellor is memorable even though the soap opera dialogue isn't. A product of its times that doesn't hold up well now.
It's rare for such a grand, sprawling film to hit on such an intimate, personal level. Stevens is a master of garnering beautiful, human performances. As big as this film is, the moments that hit the hardest are it's quietest. The film is not without it's flaws: far too long, questionable flow, and a weak ending. One of James Dean's best performances.