Noel Coward

Blu-ray Review: Glorious Criterion Box Set For ‘David Lean Directs Noel Coward’

Brief Encounter

CHICAGO – For fans less familiar with the four films in the new Criterion box set — “David Lean Directs Noel Coward” — one might be easily forgiven for assuming that the four films are very similar. Let’s be honest. “Tim Burton Directs Johnny Depp” and “Martin Scorsese Directs Robert De Niro” would have some definite thematic commonality. Perhaps that’s why it’s SO remarkable how different each of the four films in this set ended up.

Blu-ray Review: Risque, Delightful Comedy ‘Design For Living’ From Criterion

Design For Living

CHICAGO – From the very first scene, a first-silent exchange in which a beautiful woman enters a train car to see two handsome men sleeping across from her and chooses to draw them on her sketch pad before falling asleep and waking up to flirt with both of them outright, “Design For Living” is a romantic comedy masterpiece. I’m stunned to admit that I had never seen the Ernst Lubitsch risque joy but now I consider it one of my favorite Criterion editions. The movie is laugh-out-loud funny with three stars at the peak of their skills — charming, engaging, enjoyable. I’ve been doing this long enough that it’s increasingly rare to see a classic film for the first time that floors me like “Design For Living.” It’s stellar.

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