Lolita: A Movie Review

Professor Humbert:  “What makes you think I’ve stopped caring for you?”

Lolita: “Well, you haven’t even kissed me yet, have you?”

Title:  Lolita
Director:  Stanley Kubrick
Release Date:  July 12, 1962
Rating:  TV 14
Genre:  Drama, Romance
My Rating:1 star2 star3 star4 star

I have a confession to make.  About a month ago I began reading Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita.  The idea of reading it sounded very ‘mature’ to me and I was in the process of expanding my reading material.  I was only 8% into the book when I had to put it down.  While Nabokov’s writing was very ingenious, I had trouble with the subject matter of the book.  Now I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post that I was abused as a child.  So you can imagine how this might play out … a woman, like me, reading a book about a man who falls in love with a 12 year-old girl.  Some would call his actions pedophiliac, while others may find it romantic.  I subscribe to the former argument.

So I decided tonight that I would give Lolita a second try.  I decided that I was going to watch Kubrick’s 1962 version of Lolita.

The movie did not start off slow, which I liked.  It did it’s job.  It introduced the characters and gave you brief knowledge of their personalities and behaviors.

Then I met Lolita.  There was almost something very mysterious about her … perhaps it was her innocence that made her stand out or even the way she wore her sunglasses, as if to hide her true self from the world.  Either way, there is truly something about Lolita that demands your attention.

Throughout the movie you watch this young girl go from a girl to a sassy vixen.  Yet, it’s tastefully done.  I have read many complaints about this movie that it was “too subtle.”  Yet, I feel that in order for this movie to be made into a movie, it had to be subtle.  Themes like this don’t just fly in our society … even in 1962, when this film was released.  Another thing that allowed for this movie to be made was the fact that they added 2 years to Lolita’s age, making her 14.  In the beginning, you even see her at a high school dance.

James Mason and Shelly Winters were outstanding in this movie.  I even give credit to Sue Lyon who was most likely only 15 years-old when this film was made.  To play someone so grown-up can be difficult, but I think that she did a wonderful job doing this.

This movie is creepy.  At least, the subject matter is.  However, I think that it’s definitely worth watching.

Movie Challenge:  4 down, 6 more movies to go!