Citizen Kane

My husband and I can rarely agree on what movie to watch at home.  We generally have drastic taste differences and it usually ends with us deciding not to watch anything.  A few nights ago, during one of these debates, my husband remarked that we both like “good” movies.  We decided to look up a list of “good” movies and watch them.  We chose AFI Top 100 Movies, 10th Anniversary Edition.  Up first – Citizen Kane.

We had watched Citizen Kane together once before, many years ago before we even had kids.  I remembered liking it and remembered the twist at the end, but very little else.  Upon re-watch, it was very good.  The story was engaging, and Orson Wells’ acting was impressive.  Also impressive was the fact that he wrote, directed and starred in it as a twenty-five year old.

The quick plot recap: Wells plays Charles Foster Kane, who is loosely based on newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst.  The story follows a writer who, after Kane’s death, interviews many people who knew him to try and find out the meaning of Kane’s last words: Rosebud.  The story flashes back to Kane’s childhood, rise in business power, two marriages, and his political defeat.  The writer doesn’t discover the meaning of Rosebud, but – SPOILER ALERT – the last scene shows it to be Kane’s childhood sled, representing his lost innocence.

My husband had watched some the special features documentary as well and had several fun facts to share during the movie, so that was interesting.  The age make up was great for 1941 and the cinematography was advanced for its time, especially with respect to the use of deep focus, where the background, foreground and in between are all in sharp focus. It did not win the Academy Award for Best Picture, but did win for Best Screenplay.

Citizen Kane was a great start to our movie marathon.