The L-Shaped Room
Drama / Romance
The L-Shaped Room
Drama / Romance
Jane, a young French woman, pregnant and unmarried, takes a room in a seedy London boarding house, which is inhabited by an assortment of misfits. She considers getting an abortion, but is unhappy with this solution. She falls into a relationship with Toby, a struggling young writer who lives on the first floor. Eventually she comes to like her odd room, and makes friends with all the strange people in the house. But she still faces two problems: what to do with her baby, and what to do with Toby.
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March 06, 2018 at 05:26 AM
Odd, life-like characters--rich, textured script
The characters in the oddly appealing drama are so deliciously flawed and the texture is so utterly British art. Leslie Caron is underrated as a dramatic actor--having made a name for herself in musicals--but she shines in this one. Her performance is reminiscent of the character she played in "The Subterraneans." She is perfect as the tortured free-spirit who stumbles. Another standout is Brock Peters. You feel the closeness of his room when he is lying in bed, talking to Jane through the wall. In fact, the whole boarding house feels real, seedy and full of dashed hopes. You ache for the pain and loneliness each person on the
house endures--I felt myself like a resident in this menagerie. The direction is taut, spare and real. I would have liked to have learned more about Toby's background, what drove him to this place. But I suppose a good film is supposed to leave a place for the viewers imagination.
I was a tender 14 years old in 1962, when I accompanied my mentor (my high school Spanish teacher) to an art house movie theater in Greenwich Village to see this film. My only previous encounter with Leslie Caron had been in the wonderfully entertaining film "Gigi". I must say, this two hour spectacle of unrelieved misery came as quite a shock to me. I left the theater thinking I had just seen the most depressing film I had ever seen in my life. And yet...I loved it! In fact, I felt very grown up at having survived it. This would not have been possible without the aid of the movie's soundtrack, Brahm's Piano Concerto No.1, which my astonished ears heard for the first time that evening. I've been in love with that piece--and with Brahms--ever since.
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A truly touching performance by Leslie Caron
I first saw this film when I was I'm my early teens and for some reason it always stuck with me. Some 30yrs later, I watched it again last night and was awestruck by the performances in this fine fine film.
Leslie Caron was nominated for an Oscar for her role and won the Golden Globe and BAFTA for her performance .. and rightly so. Such a touching, understated delivery that will have you too fall in love with her character Jane.
It's hard to believe I am only the 2nd user to comment on this forgotten gem. Films like this really illustrate the dire state of motion picture making these days. They sure don't make em like they used to folks.
Available on DVD, unfortunately not in it's original aspect ratio. Perhaps one day someone will release it in wide screen to truly appreciate the gritty black & white photography.
Highly recommended .. a flawless film throughout !