Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wendy's Films of 2010 #100: Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

This may be the first film I watched after getting my wisdom teeth out back in May, but I definitely remember it clearly as I often do with films I thoroughly enjoy. I'm glad that this film, my 100th, is one that I sincerely liked. 

Kind Hearts and Coronets is the story of a young man whose mother is shunned by her aristocratic family after marrying a man of lower means. As her son, Louis, grows older and his mother dies (her family denying her dying wish) he begins to plot towards inheriting his family's dukedom. The only trouble is, there are 12 others in his way.

The film has the perfect level of black humour as Louis simultaneously begins to elevate his position in society and terminate members of his rich, upper-class family, almost all played by the genius Alec Guinness. Each death is planned to comedic and undetectable perfection and Guinness's portrayal of 8 different characters ranging from a middle-aged woman to several men, young and old simply blows my mind. Of course, the complications come with women, and Louis finds himself in some potential trouble after a former lover reenters his life. As for his fate, you'll have to wait and discover it in the film's clever and artful ending, definitely one of the best I've seen in recent memory.

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