We made it – got the last couple of tickets to the sold-out first-night performance of Atlas Shrugged Part 1 in Portland, Oregon.
The movie was wonderful. Having just re-read Part 1, it is clear that Ayn Rand was putting her own film experience and her early life in the Soviet Union to work in the book. Lots of atmospheric descriptions, slanting shadows across various people – very 1940s noir-type style – vivid descriptions of heroes, nobodies, and villains. Very difficult to cast. Very difficult to recreate on a slender budget.
Given that, and given the extreme complexity of the plot, the director and producer did an excellent job of getting the story to the screen. They also did what Rand couldn’t do, demonstrate the power and magnificence of railroads. The deep, rumbling sound of the engines and cars on the tracks goes directly past the brain and into the body, arousing excitement and strong un-namable emotions, while personifying the heroes – Dagny, Hank, Ellis.
Question for readers – what sounds and views did the producers use to signify the nobodies and villains? IFO guesses the dark, drab diners for the nobodies. What about the villains — the Washington crowd, the cowardly intellectuals, and the corporate looters in league with the government? What sounds and views for them?
So, it was a win. IFO went to Portland with three companions who were an interesting mix. One was a right-leaning libertarian, one left-leaning libertarian, and the completely non-political, non-philosophical, uninformed, loving, caring wife of the lll.
# Produced By: Harmon Kaslow & John Aglialoro
# Directed By: Paul Johansson
# Adapted Screenplay By: Brian Patrick O’Toole and John Aglialoro
# Dagny Taggart: Taylor Schilling (Excellent choice for this role.)
# Henry Rearden: Grant Bowler (Perfectly cast!!! A real dreamboat!)
# James Taggart: Matthew Marsden (Hope he’s not that bad in real life.)
# Ellis Wyatt: Graham Beckel (Lovable, believable.)
The rest of the cast was also good, except for Francisco d’Anconia, who should have been more slender, proud, aristocratic and magnetic – a younger Ricardo Montalban or Jimmy Smits, perhaps.
The concluding scenes were stupendous. ***** Five stars. See it. Now.