The knowledge that it actually happened can only ennoble Goodrich and Hackett’s turgid sense of drama (they were comic writers at heart) so much. But I was unprepared for the sheer awfulness of Millie Perkins, who captures none of Anne’s restless intelligence and is distractingly “adorable” (especially when whining about how homely she supposedly is—they might as well have gone whole hog and cast Audrey Hepburn in the role).
35mm, 3,5. It's, in certain sequences, an extraordinary film: those in which suspense is played as in a "noir", with shadows, light and space. The way Stevens films a three layers setting, with a camera that walks through it vertically and articulates the scope in it, is equally admirable. There's to much sugar in Newman's music and some vain reinforcement of poeticity, but this doesn't deny what is to be praised.
Is it possible to dislike a film and still admire the craftsmanship? This isn’t the only time I have felt this way about a George Stevens movie. He is a master but he sabotages himself. Millie Perkins is a casting error, charming as she is. I also think the film lacks air. What I mean is Stevens doesn’t shake off the stagy roots. However, it is immaculately made and beautifully paced.
We all know the story, and this Hollywood film does a fine job at retelling it. A little polished and sweeter than it probably should've been, but heartbreaking regardless. Millie Perkins made a strong Anne Frank.