Compared to my last attempt, the dessert portion of this Best Picture Baking Project, was a great success. As for the movie…
Had I seen this one before?
Nope. I think I’ve seen the hot air balloon scene at some point, but that’s all I knew about it.
Top 3 observations on this viewing?
1. This movie is ridiculously racist. Seriously, it’s basically just a white British man (David Niven) with his vaguely “ethnic” manservant (Cantinflas) (who refers to Niven’s character as “Master”) traveling to all the hot-spots of British colonization to laugh at/shoot the natives. They rescue one girl in India from a ritual burning, but only after learning she was educated in England. And that Indian Princess, is played by Shirley MacLaine.
2. It’s really long. I appreciate a movie with an intermission, but so many sequences – especially anything performative, like the flamenco dance or the bull-fight – just go on at least two minutes too long. And when the movie is nothing but a series of sequences that drag on a bit, it can feel like a bit of a slog to get through. But, it’s sort of rescued by the endless cameos (according to the trivia Miró looked up) this was the first movie to bill “cameo” rolls, and they got everyone from Buster Keaton to this guy:
3. Visually it was stunning. There were great pictures of the sunset and the Technicolor were beautiful and director, Michael Anderson showed off the various landscapes very well. In fact, the spectacle was reminiscent of old MGM musicals, to the point where I kept expecting people to break out in song.
What did it beat? Did it deserve to win?
Friendly Persuasion – This is the first time I’ve heard of this.
Giant – Has been on my “to watch” list for years.
The King and I – Oh more racism cloaked as good family fun. But with pretty ballads this time.
The Ten Commandments – Another one I haven’t seen. But if you have asked I probably would have guessed that it won.
Even without seeing it, I’m going to guess that Giant, probably holds up the best of this group.
Bechdel Test pass?
Nope. Not even a little bit. MacLaine’s Princess Aouda is the only woman with a name. Another woman (a pushy American broad) talks in her presence at one point, but only to hit on Niven and be stopped by (presumably) her knife-wielding pimp. Other women appear from time to time, to wordlessly perform and or hand the men food. I wish I was exagerating.
But more importantly – I made chocolate bowls! Using balloons! And it worked! (The recipe is actually pretty simple…)
– 1 package of candy coating (in the baking aisle at mainstream grocery stores – you can also temper your own chocolate, if you like making things difficult for yourself)
– small party or water balloons
– Melt the coating chocolate and stir, let sit until cool to the touch
– While it’s cooling, blow up and tie off the balloons (Don’t over inflate! They will pop and send chocolate everywhere.)
– Dip each balloon into the chocolate into the depth you want your balloons to be and place onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper
– Let sit to harden.
– Before serving, place in refrigerator.
– Remove from fridge, and cut the balloon at the knot to release the air slowly. It should look something like this:
– Remove the balloon from the chocolate and fill with ice cream, mousse, or other yummy dessert!