Film Club Review – Giant
I’ve heard Giant described as a “low-rent Gone with the Wind.” That’s not too off the mark. I’d describe it as Gone With the Wind without a purpose. Giant’s main problem is its lack of focus. It seems to be all over the map, trying to be too many things at once and not really succeeding at any of them.
It takes a while for Giant to come to its point. When Elizabeth Taylor’s Leslie moves to Texas to be with her husband Jordan Benedict(Rock Hudson), she brings with her a level of intolerance towards racism and sexism which is so rampant in Texas. So we start to think that maybe this is where the movie is going, but no, not really. There isn’t really much payoff or follow through on these issues.
Giant is supposed to be an epic saga, but I did not find the Texas landscape rich or vibrant enough to make this a visually compelling film. Nor were the goings-on of the Benedict family all that compelling. Sure the character of Leslie and the character of Jams Dean’s Jed start off to be very interesting, but as the movie continues they both lose their edge and their appeal.
The first half of the film deals with Leslie integrating herself into the Texan culture. But the second half…. boy oh boy. Talk about tedious. The second half jumps about 15-20 years ahead and deals with Leslie, Jordan and their three kids. Now these storylines run all over the place and its hard to follow or care about any of them. There’s no clear purpose to whats happening anymore other than simply going through the motions of these characters’ lives.
Ultimately this movie is a big waste of time. There’s no point to it. Sure the restaurant scene at the end is commendable in its stand against racism, but when the film forgets to dealt with the racial issue for the last 60 minutes leading up to that it doesn’t hold that much impact. I love finding great Hollywood epics from the past, and I was hoping this would be one of them. However Giant is just awful, which is very disappointing.