I’m so glad I got to catch this one on the big screen this past weekend, as it was one of those I’d never seen in a theater and at the top of the list of movies that one *should* experience in the theater. It had also been several years since I’d seen it, so it all seemed fresh and new. To add to it, this special 40th anniversary rerelease was a Fathom event, so we got special commentary before and after the film provided by TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz.
Normie, proving again his stupidity, didn’t like this movie when it first came out. He snubbed it. Kubrick deserved an Oscar nomination, as did stars Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. (Maybe the kid and Scatman Crothers, too. And the score.) None received them, and Duvall, whose performance is nothing less than masterful, even got nominated for a Razzie! (What a joke the Razzies are; the worst kind of joke: one that isn’t funny. A Normie joke, in other words.) Time has left Normie with all kinds of egg on his collective face over this one: Scrambled. Eggs benedict. Poached. Green. Sunny-side up.
It doesn’t surprise me that Stephen King didn’t like this one, either, but that has nothing to do with the quality of the film. It’s because the product is as much Kubrick’s as it is King’s, and the author understandably doesn’t like to share his toys. THE SHINING is pure cinema, though, the work of an auteur; it’s a freestanding work *based on* King’s novel rather than King’s novel on film. As such, it represents perhaps the greatest adaptation ever of a King book. It’s that good.