There is no other way to watch Ben-Hur but to just plow through. And. we. plowed. through. Oy vey and ish kabbile, this is a long, long, boring, melodramatic and again endless movie. Oh, and it’s sometimes about Jesus. But mostly it’s about this guy, Judah Ben-Hur, who’s life sometimes criss-crosses (no pun intended) with Jesus’. And… oohh bad things happen to Mr. Hur, like he falls in love with a slave, and then collides with irony and accidentally hurts a governor and is enslaved himself. And he has to overact. And then sweat a lot. But then he gets himself into a very cool chariot race, that Martin Scorsese, himself, sings about. Ben wins the race but then, suddenly, Jesus is tried by the bad Romans, Pontias P. washes his hand and Jesus dies. But….good news, ok, you might know the rest to that plotline. OK, then Ben overacts some more with his mom leper and his sister leper. And then , finally, my prayers are answered and end music plays and we all high five because this long ass movie is over and we’ve cleared the Ben-Hur hurdle.
As you can tell the narrative isn’t very flowy. And, um, to say the least, the acting is not that great. Well, not in my world. But the Academy loved this movie. Ben-Hur won 11 awards. It went to eleven. But so did Titanic. At least Ben-Hur didn’t have Celine Dion singing it’s theme song. But had she’d been around in 1959, I bet we would’ve heard Celine warbling something for this film. That’s a scarier than all those Saw movies, isn’t it?
What a crappy choice for best picture Ben Hur is. Some Like it Hot was released in 1959. And it wasn’t nominated for best picture. But Jack Lemmon was nominated for best actor in what was probably the best performance by an actor, ever. But Charlton Heston snatched up that Oscar like it was Soylent Green. Damn dirty bad actor.
Edited to add–but this is cute:
One of my favorite and somewhat unsung actors is in this movie though: Stephen Boyd. He plays the “villain” in this picture, but I found myself rooting for him because he is so much a better actor than Chuck Heston. I admire Mr. Boyd so because he does a spectacular acting job in one of my most favorite craptacular movies: The Oscar (and how apropos *that* title to this blog, I ask you?). If you ever get a chance to watch The Oscar take it. It’s just as much fun as Valley of the Dolls or Showgirls, just not as famously bad or nakedly bad.
For dinner we had a really delightful Chicken Marsala (it’s Italian and Mr. Boyd. characters is named Masala: so, potato-potahto) . This is an Emeril recipe and, unlike Ben Hur it’s really easy as well as delightful: