A film primarily famous for its music (scored by Simon & Garfunkel – including their famous ‘Mrs. Robinson’ – who became household names after the success of the movie) and for the central concept of an older woman, Mrs Robinson (played by Anne Bancroft), seducing a younger man, Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman). This is quite unfair on the film though, as we soon realise we are actually watching Mrs Robinson living in her own personal version of hell, while the young Ben, a creature of great impulse but no real design, processes his angst and feelings of isolation and ennui into an all consuming and obsessive ‘true love’, one befitting the film’s iconic status.
Hoffman shows why he is one of the finest actors of any generation not just his own, and director Mike Nichols won the best director Oscar for his avant-garde and experimental work here – which features a lot of individual expression helping shape the audience’s connection with Ben and his disconnection with the adults around him, even if sometimes if feels like they just thought – ‘Ok let’s put the camera up here and see what happens’. A story with a lot of depth, great performances (also from Katharine Ross in support – all three would garner Oscar nominations), and some wonderful comedy perfectly sewn into the darkness and urgency of the drama. One not to miss.