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Yentl
USA 1983
Directed by Barbara Streisand
Running time 134 minutes

2 stars


It's great to see sisters doing it for themselves but not too great if they don't know when to stop. This gauzily sentimental and overlong adaptation of an Isaac Bashevis Singer story has cross-dressing Babs in the lead working her way through 12 unmemorable numbers as she fights the conflicting emotions of being a woman in a man's world. I'm not familiar with Streisand's music but I suspect that this film is stylistically comparable, romantically idealized and over-produced. Certainly this was an important project for Streisand and it is a film that is worth attention if one's looking for a distinctively female directorial sensibility. However, that this won an Oscar for its score (music by Michel Legrand, lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman) means either that the competition was off or more likely, that no-one could top the Jewish vote. BH

 

 

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