Big stretch of land, big stretch of time
Directed by: George Stevens
Written by: Fred Guiol and Ivan Moffat, based on the novel by Edna Ferber
Starring: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean
Giant certainly takes on a giant story. Spanning the great expanse of the American country (Texas to be exact), and the epic lives of individuals who live or have come to live in this rugged place, Giant sweeps across ideas of loneliness, time, love and how hard it is to predict the future.
The beauty of Giant‘s cinematography is hard to ignore as the picturesque landscapes and even the more intimate scenes contain a beautiful sense of colour and visually strong impressions. Set against this backdrop, Elizabeth Taylor naturally fits into the strong personality of Leslie and Rock Hudson’s contrast to James Dean’s lonely and immersive character, Jett, works perfectly to deliver a dramatically engaging story.
In covering such big ground, however, in terms of themes, ideas and emotional effects intended for the audience, Giant can feel like it’s taking on a bit too much. When you’ve got the notions of family expectations, changing generations, legacy, unrequited love, racism, gender equality, rivalry, and history all residing in the same ranch, it’s hard to truly appreciate the story in a holistic way.