Film for Friday
Recommended by Daniel Austin – Director
- WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF
- USA: 1966
- Cert: PG / 2 hours 11 minutes
- Director: Mike Nichols
I was first introduced to the world of George and Martha whilst studying A-level Theatre Studies back in the early ’80s. Having read the play (by Edward Albee, 1962) during class, we then watched the movie.
The abusive relationship between George and Martha becomes a theatrical performance for their two guests, Nick and Honey, as the piece explores the complexities of their marriage in middle age, their infertility and class.
It is a brutal, moving but humorous portrayal of an aspect of middle-class, intellectual life in a style that almost epitomises ‘heightened’ American naturalism.
The off-screen relationship – well publicised and documented at the time by the press – between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton certainly adds passion, tension and humour to this film.
George Segal and Sandy Dennis also give exciting performances as Nick and Honey. Their presence in George and Martha’s home, after a faculty party, provide the main protagonists with the catalyst to further play the deadly games they have been playing for years and to tell certain truths.
Sandy Dennis was a phenomenal actor! And Mike Nichols‘ direction on this movie is, too!