Wednesday, July 6, 2016

And I am, after all, me...

This post is part of Nathaniel's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series in which the participants must post a single image from a movie he or she deems as the "best shot" for any particular reason.

This week the movie was chosen by his readers and somehow the late 1980s hit Working Girl was chosen. And it was a hit, good for 11th highest grossing film of its year, adjusting for more than $130 million in today's currency. It was also nominated for 6 Academy Awards including Picture/Director and for three of its actresses. I'm merely pointing all of this out because how rare it is nowadays for a female-led film to make that much money and to garner awards. The hair and clothes aren't the only thing dated then I suppose.

The film, for those who haven't seen it, is about a secretary (Melanie Griffith), thinking her boss has stolen one of her ideas, who pretends to have her boss' job while her boss is waylaid with injury. The story beats are familiar, but I still found it overall quite entertaining bolstered by its leading lady who seems to work just as hard as her character Tess. Sigourney Weaver is a hoot as her devil-may-care boss and Harrison Ford is welcome eye candy especially amidst the garish style of the 80s.

My honorable mention pick for best shot includes all three of the main characters in a shot from towards the end of the film. It's at this point where the Big Reveal happens and I just love this shot of all of them prepping for the worse. Nichols does love to frame background people with foreground people doesn't he (think the iconic shot of The Graduate)?

And speaking of that famous scene in The Graduate, a similarly shot scene in this film became my pick for best shot. It's towards the beginning of the film with Tess working with her new boss for a few weeks now and realizing that the best way to move up in the world is to copy other successful people.

Best Shot

Just look at how identical their clothes are, white top and black skirt. Tess is clearly trying her best to imitate her boss here, a prelude to the main plot of the movie. Her legs in the foreground isn't for seduction like in The Graduate, but she's certainly seduced by the idea of her seemingly perfect boss and mentor. Weaver even compels her to "Watch me" and "Learn from me" soon after this increasing Tess' need to please her boss by becoming more like her. It's a fascinating interplay between the two characters nicely setting up the rest of the film.

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