The movie I chose from the AFI’s top 10 list was Sleepless in Seattle. I chose this movie because I have had many friends who have seen it and loved it and also knew it was a classic, hence I took the opportunity to watch the film.
The movie itself is about a father and son (known in the movie as sleepless and son) who just lost their wife/mother to cancer. Widowed and motherless, the son takes it upon himself to call a “radio doctor” to give his father advice on moving on. Airing nationwide, Sleepless (the father), becomes a female phenomenon. One listener, Annie, falls in love with sleepless and his son after hearing the radio broadcast and sends letters finally meeting the two on the top of the Empire State Building on Valentines Day. Though maybe a little long, the movie is sweet and endearing and a true romance film, paralleling an older classic with a twist of humor and charm.
Visually I felt that this film had many clever components. There were two scenes that I can remember that upheld the idea of symmetry. The father and son were sitting on a bench next to each other with two large, in my eyes archaic, telephones speaking to the doctor on the radio. Both wearing white socks and sweatpants it was as if the viewer was viewing the two through time, as they were split frame, one side the young, the other the old. As it was Christmas time the lights of the Christmas tree reflected off of the picture frame behind them.
The second visual aspect that truly caught my eye was the repetition of maps. The father constantly pulls down a map in their living room/kitchen to show his father the geography of the US. There is a map in the opening scene, there is a map that cuts the scenes between the three protagonists traveling, and there are little hints at maps, like in the hotel when Annie is with her fiancé and there is a glob surrounded in hearts. This visual supplied consistency and a constant theme, it was clever and although I may be unaware of the subliminal meaning behind the symbolic maps I did recognize them as a repeated image.
The final visual aspect that I enjoyed was the opening scene of the funeral, where depth of field was exhibited. The camera slowly panned out to expose the graveyard was surrounded by the skyline of Chicago which was beautiful in and of itself.
As a whole I truly enjoyed the movie and felt that it was very visually appealing, but due to the fact that it is an older movie I appreciated the lack of special effects that overwhelm films these days. I found that the film was quant and heart warming and was very satisfied with the outcome.