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The Film List Project #19: The Leopard

Sometimes a little spontaneity is good.

Like most weeks, I had no idea what I wanted to watch in preparation for this week's post. Usually, I go to Netflix, list in hand (because it's in a notebook) and just start searching. Every once in a while, though, Netflix fails me.

Today was one of those days. That's now I came across The Leopard.

The process of deciding whether or not to watch it reminded me of when I was in middle school and I used to watch whatever was on cable. In other words, it's a really hit or miss process.

I definitely didn't think I was going to watch it. Between the 185 minute runtime and the subtitles, I just wasn't feeling it. However, I figured if I didn't watch it now, I was never going to watch it.

I actually really enjoy watching films in a different language. Not only does it give me a reason to say I read today, but it also gives me a new perspective on acting. Because you can't just listen to what people are saying, you have to pay attention to the facial expressions and movements of the actors, elements I know I take for granted when I watch a movie in my own language.

I paid more attention to costume and set design in this film, mostly because the home the main character lives in is beautiful and the dresses the women wear make me so thankful I did not grow up in 1860s Sicily...or any time when big dresses were in style. They're pretty, but I can barely wear regular pants without falling over. I would trip so fast.

The most interesting thing about this film was how the Prince deals with his entire situation. He goes through an incredible amount of transition, not only because of a power shift in his world, but also because of how his family dynamic is changing.

When the Prince finds out that his daughter has confessed to the priest that she's in love with her cousin, the Prince is confronted with his age. Side Note: I'm pretty sure that confessions are supposed to be anonymous, but whatever, priest guy. Anyway, the Prince reflects on the changes in his life throughout the film, dealing with everything with a surprising amount of grace.

At one point, the Prince is asked to take a position in the new government, but he turns it down, insisting that he is a part of the old system and even suggesting another name. His wisdom serves him well and is undoubtedly why he is so respected and is such a fascinating character.

Despite the runtime and the subtitles, I ended up loving this film. It just goes to show that a spontaneous decision can lead to great things.

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