For Reel

Midnight Cowboy (1969)
April 17, 2011, 9:05 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: John Schlesinger

The only X-rated film to ever win Best Picture, Midnight Cowboy is a bleak, upsetting work that memorably depicts urban isolationism and the ignorant, uncaring bourgeois society of the era. Comparing the film with recent Oscar contenders, it’s a depressing reminder of the lack of risk and tenacity in today’s mainstream entertainment. The film, essentially an immigrant tale, hasn’t lost any of its social relevance – the bright-eyed Joe Buck enthusiastically makes his way to the big city only before ending up broke and humiliated. Effective though Voight’s performance may be, as Ratso Rizzo, Hoffman plays the literally-named character too excessively and gives an outlandish performance that doesn’t quite seem appropriate for the otherwise harsh realism that the film presents.