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The odd ‘Lolita’

The odd 'Lolita'

I recently caught up with Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita for the very first time, on a lazy Sunday while it aired on Turner Classic Movies. Of course, I was familiar with Vladimir Nabokov’s book and Kubrick’s film, but I had never taken the opportunity to experience either. The film is quite something, really unusual for its time (1962), but also totally engrossing. The tone of the film is hard to pin down, swinging between dark comedy and melodrama throughout its 2+ hours. And, then, you have Peter Sellers, delivering a bizarre supporting performance, in-between strong turns by James Mason, as Humbert Humbert, and Sue Lyon, as Lolita. If you want to see something truly bizarre, take a look at what happened to Lyon’s life, after this breakthrough performance. She went on to have an adult life almost as dramatic as the one in this film. It gives me great pleasure that this film, which is sometimes overwhelmed by its cultural footprint, gets a little creative review by A.O. Scott for today’s New York Times online:

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