When you gave me the first choice of Graham's top 10 (11 . . . E.T. was an add-on . . LOL) to review, I immediately gravitated toward E. T. To be honest, it took some courage to make that choice.
As I mentioned to you, I saw E. T. once back in 1982, and not again until . . . now. It just ended five minutes ago as I write this.
And here I am wondering why in hell did it take me 32 years to watch it again? Let's see if I can figure out why, because I will proclaim, with tears rolling down my face, that E. T. (technically titled E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial but does anyone really care anymore?) is one of the best movies ever made!
In 1982, I already had my Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and was working on my Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre (yes, with an "re" rather than the usual American "er") at the age of 24. There is no room for sentiment when you are pursuing a degree in "THEATRE." Or when you're 24 struggling to fit in . . . somewhere.
We studied Ibsen and Chekhov and O'Neil and went DEEP into human depravity and tragedy and failure and lust and gluttony and all of the seven deadly sins.
One day, my mother asked me to accompany her, my brother, sister, and . . . OH NO! my grandmother . . . to see E. T. NOOOO! I can't like this movie! I just can't! It's not Ibsen! It's not Chekhov! It's not that brilliant American playwright Eugene O'Neil who brilliantly managed to write a brilliant four-hour play (A Long Day's Journey Into Night) without one speck of humor, not one smile's worth!
I liked E. T. in spite of myself, and had the audacity to mention it to a couple of theatre buddies.
They indulgently shook their heads with a smirk, "There are no real actors in this movie! There's no Olivier! There's no Gielgud! There's no Guinness!"
I reached out so hard, "There's a Barrymore!"
That went over like a fart in Church.
Later, my jaw dropped when my grandmother wanted a video copy as soon as my brother could make one for her. I loved her dearly, but my maternal grandmother was one of the hardest human beings I've ever known.
Really! E. T.? You want E. T, Mama Drue? You, who had never liked a movie that didn't have Roy Rogers or Gene Autry in it?
The decades slipped by Jodie, and I never watched it again, despite the fact that it's a movie right up my alley . . . as you know from reading my reviews.
I'm watching it again this afternoon (to make up for lost time), and I will laugh just as loud and ridiculously, I will cry just as hard, and fist-pump just as enthusiastically.
I started writing this review an hour and a half ago, and have since found an interesting perspective on E. T. (keeping in mind that I have not yet read your take, Jodie). Apparently, in 1997 my favorite critic Roger Ebert sat down with his grandkids to watch it.
You can read his account of that experience here. It's magical. As is the movie!
Oh! What is my take on the acting? Simple. It was what it needed to be . . . and that, by definition, is perfect! :-) Especially E. T.!!! And Henry Thomas as Elliott!!! And Drew Barrymore as Gertie!!!
And, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the amazing movie is from the imagination of Steven Spielberg.
I will not presume to offer a rating since this is one of the best ever made!
Please link to Jodie's review here, and I can't wait to read it!