Customer Review

120 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, carefully crafted movie., December 21, 1999
This review is from: Lolita (DVD)
There is a moment in Adrian Lyne's LOLITA that effectively captures the twisted, yet surprisingly innocent feeling that Vladimir Nabokov wanted to portray with his novel. When Lolita, wonderfully played by newcomer Dominique Swain, is rushing up the stairs to say goodbye to Humbert Humbert (Jeremy Irons), before she leaves for summer camp, you realize that the look of excitement in Jeremy Irons face, and the nervous posture he has is that of an innocent child in love.
Indeed it is true that Humbert is a child at heart, a fact which becomes clear early in the movie, when we learn a little bit about Humbert's first encounter with love and its subsequent painful and unexpected loss.
It seems impossible to not compare Lyne's version with Stanley Kubrick's version, made over 35 years ago. I have to admit that I am an avid Kubrick fan, and that I always thought his version of Nabokov's novel, if not faithfully reproduced, was a classic. So it was that with apprehension (and some morbid curiosity) I decided to watch Lyne's version. Boy was I blown away.
It is a terrible thing that our society as a whole, at this day and age, can't see pass the taboo that apparently clogs the story. It is sad because Lyne's LOLITA is an excellent and beautiful film in every respect. From Lyne's carefully crafted visual style, to the outstanding performance given by both Swain but especially by Irons (this is his movie), to the heart-breaking music score by legendary composer Ennio Morricone. Everything is in place here.
It is clear that Lyne has a profound understanding of the novel, he successfully directs the story in a way the slowly engulfs you and never seems to fall into the traps that plagued Kubrick's version. There are a great many things that you will discover in this movie, not the least of which is the realization that, deep down inside, there is a place in each and everyone of us where love seems to have no age. In the end you understand the reasons behind the story, you will see Humbert's joy reflected in your eyes and his tears will fall down your face, but perhaps most shocking of all, you will feel like him.
Please, do yourself a favor and see this movie on DVD. Trimark has done an excellent job by including a very insightful commentary track by Adrian Lyne, a wealth of deleted scenes (some of which I wish were on the film), theatrical trailers, and perhaps the most wonderful feature of all, a casting session with Jeremy Irons and Dominique Swain, where you see them rehearse a scene, and later get to see the final scene. Highly recommended.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 15, 2012 9:24:29 PM PDT
It's Irons' best performance, but it's not 'his' film; it belongs to Swain.

Posted on Nov 26, 2013 4:49:36 PM PST
1farstar says:
Totally agree.

Posted on Nov 27, 2014 7:06:21 PM PST
mally says:
It's a terrible thing that anyone would call child abuse a "taboo" and that 110 people would vote a review "helpful" that makes such a statement. Both the book and the movie show that Lolita suffers from the relationship with HH and wants out, but has no where else to turn. This reviewer, like HH himself, turns a blind eye to that.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2014 3:12:54 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 28, 2014 3:16:18 AM PST
1farstar says:
Mally - Sadly I think you're projecting some of your own personal issues onto this novel. Lolita is a fictional character, not a re-enactment of your childhood nightmares.

As written, Lolita wanted sex but didn't have the maturity to choose well. It's a "tragedy" for all the characters involved and masterfully written.

Sorry you couldn't enjoy it for what it was, but why despise those of us who can appreciate it? Why not see a therapist and talk your issues out in that therapeutic forum?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2015 2:09:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 7, 2015 2:09:51 PM PST
MaryEvelyn says:
Um. A bit harsh. Let's just AGREE to each have our own, unique, intelligent opinions w/out accusations of needed analysis. You can't bully someone into thinking like-minded. Btw, I include Nabokov's Lolita in my All-Time favorites. Brilliance!! However, I do agree that Lolita was suffering and longed to be free. That said, her maturity issues, promiscuity, and proper parental guidance prevented a proper escape. Good thing about opinions: There free and abundant.
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