Dir. John Huston. 1987, 83 mins. 35mm. With Anjelica Huston, Donal McCann. One of the most effortlessly accomplished movies of the 1980s, the final film in Huston’s illustrious and wildly diverse career is a brilliant adaptation of James Joyce’s masterpiece “The Dead,” set in 1904 at a Christmas party in Dublin thrown by two elderly sisters. Huston’s roving camera captures the general merry-making of food, drink, and dance, though the mood of the annual gathering grows increasingly melancholy, leading to an unforgettable monologue, courtesy of a haunting Anjelica Huston. The director pulls off the unthinkable: doing justice to one of the greatest works in all English literature.
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