Edward Hall新的改编noȱl懦夫的玩Blithe Spiritis so aggressively un-funny it might make audiences unfamiliar with the script's successful track record wonder why it was ever a success in the first place. Of all the movie's sins, this is the biggest. Coward requires a light touch and nerves of steel. His characters are witty and heartless, with glittering carapaces of dazzling verbal weaponry. They are self-involved, impulsive, and careless of consequences. When Coward is done badly, the plays come off as arch and stilted, the characters paper cut-outs representing generalized haughty attitudes. It's all-style, no substance. When Coward is done well, and you know it when you see it, there's nothing better. Unfortunately, Coward is nowhere in sight in this new adaptation. Even his famous dialogue doesn't stand out. In fact, there have been many "improvements" added by the writing team ofPiers Ashworth,梅格伦纳德， 和Nick Moorcroft, none of which improve anything.
查尔斯（Dan Stevens）是一个屡获殊荣的犯罪小说作家，让他的一本书变成剧本。查尔斯遭遇作家的街区（开幕式呼唤杰克网卡holson在 ”The Shining“）和他的妻子露丝（Isla Fisher.) is fed up with his eccentric behavior. Ruth is also mortified since her father, a producer at Pinewood Studios, is the one who gave Charles the job. After seeing the stage show of a medium named Madame Arcati (Judi Dench), Charles gets the idea to include the occult in his script. He invites Madame Arcati to his home to conduct a seance (for research purposes). Madame Arcati, an open fraud, has her first success ever, conjuring up Elvira (Leslie Mann), Charles' first wife, an American woman who died in a riding accident. Elvira wasn't just Charles' dearly-beloved, she was also his writing muse, the one who gave him all his story ideas in the first place.
Leslie Mann comes closest to approximating Coward's style. Her Elvira is ruthless, gorgeous, and doesn't care about anybody else's feelings. She wants what she wants. The more unhinged Ruth gets, the wider Mann's smile. Mann, a gifted comedienne, keeps the plates spinning in the air. Everyone else, though, drowns in a sea of self-pity. Charles feels sorry for himself because he can't write anymore. Ruth feels sorry for herself because Charles is cheating on her with a ghost. Madame Arcati feels sorry for herself because she has failed to conjure up her dead husband. Self-pity is not only not dramatic (it's a very weak choice, in general), it's also not funny, and "Blithe Spirit" is supposed to be a comedy. There's nothing funny about a bunch of people moaning about their lot in life. Coward's characters are many things, but one thing they are not—ever—is self-pitying.
让每个人的“自怜”随着他们的默认设置是一个大问题，但霍尔选择如何将埃尔维拉拍摄，因为幽灵是一个更大的问题。在庭院制作中，当然，观众可以看到Elvira。这是喜剧来自的地方。观众看到查尔斯看到的东西。我们know she is there,我们know Charles isn't going crazy, but no one else can see her. It's funny picturing how insane Charles must look to everyone not in on the joke. Hall, though, switches up the point of view as the scenes go along. Sometimes we see what Charles sees (Elvira is there), sometimes we see what Ruth sees (Elvira is not there). Sometimes CGI-effects are used, so a lipstick floats in the air, defacing a photograph, or the piano plays itself. But that's just cinema trickery. It kills the comedy. "Now you see her now you don't" just calls further attention to the undeniable fact that you should be laughing, but you are not.
框架是令人振奋的惰性：有这些长射击，人们只是站在互相交谈。查尔斯和露丝的房子看起来像一个艺术装饰 - “迈阿密副”玛什，没有任何内部的喜剧潜力。一切都像一个古老的坐在坐在一起，人们进入和离开房间，没有“补充道”，没有喜剧位，没有角色企业，没有发明的封锁。欢迎几个古老的追踪。音乐在每场场景下面播放，添加到Bland通用Vibe。
Blithe Spirithas been in circulation ever since its first West End production in 1941. A staple in American theatre, both in regional repertory theatres and local community theatres, the play is also revived periodically on Broadway and the West End. If you've seen it live, you know it works. David Lean's 1945 film adaptation, starring雷克斯哈里森,Margaret Rutherford, Constance Cummings and Kay Hammond, is charming, although something is lost in translation there too. (It wasn't a box office success.) It may be thatBlithe Spiritjust works better for a live audience.
Coward once said:
Isla Fisher.as Ruth Condomine
朱利安犀牛宗车as Dr. George Bradman
艾米利亚福克斯as Violet Bradman
科林斯坦顿as Cecil B. DeMille
Georgina Richas Hedda Hopper