Mrs. Miniver (1941)

Mrs. Miniver won the Best Picture in 1941, some two years after World War II started. The film’s plot follows Mrs. Miniver (Greer Garson) and her family as they struggle to adapt to a world entrenched in war. 

 Before the war breaks out, the story is pretty standard stuff, the husband works, the son is off to school, and Mrs. Miniver is busy concerning herself with a flower contest coming up in the spring. It all seemed like life as usual, even after the war broke out, forcing her husband to be on boat patrol, and then her son joins the air force. 

After that, there is the usual panic and worry of the boys not coming home and trying to live life as normal as possible. Everything seemed natural to me, and at no point did I feel like there was any dramatic tension or excitement to keep me engaged. 

The only part of this 133 minutes movie that played with my emotions was when Teresa Wright’s character Carol Bedon dies. It managed to get me to care about someone, but it didn’t manage to save the rest of the film from being meh. 

I was even disappointed with the rose contest since the woman who organizes it never won but was trying so desperately to win. I get that this subplot was thrown in to showcase people trying to live as normal as possible, yet I could have cared less about this storyline that resulted in a rather lacklustre ending. 

I had no expectations for this movie because I had never heard of it. It was one of the last ten films I had to watch to finish my Best Picture project. The only thing this film achieved was to get me to appreciate Teresa Wright’s acting abilities so much more than I did in The Pride of the Yankees. She was nominated for an Oscar in her first major role, which she didn’t win, but was well deserved for her performance in the second half of this film. It was the only bright spot for me. 1/10

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