I’ve been on a black and white movie binge for a while and the first one I watched happened to be Now, Voyager. I’ve wanted to catch this one for a while. I’m not sure why I hadn’t watched it before. I love a good Bette Davis movie and this one wasn’t bad.
I loved how Davis, as Charlotte, bloomed through the story. The way she grew and changed was great. Then there’s the romance that can’t be between Davis and Paul Henreid. I liked him in Casablanca, but here, Henreid shines. He’s a tortured man and trying to find happiness. Some of the reasons for his unhappiness are of his own making, but I could overlook it.
A few things I couldn’t overlook were how dated this movie truly was. Unfortunately, I initially watched it through the lens of current times. Just because Charlotte is brow-beaten doesn’t mean she should have to go to a sanitarium, but she does. She doesn’t get along with her mother–but who could! Mother was as coarse as they come. It’s no wonder Charlotte felt belittled. Then there was the scene with Tina. There’s no way someone who wasn’t the child’s biological relative would be able to not only take her out of the sanitarium for a camping trip without supervision, but to keep her out on said trip. No way they’d allow the pair, a motherly woman and a young teen to pair up the way they did or to allow the teen to move in with the woman. Without the parent’s approval? Oy. It bothered me. And how the father just went with it.
I liked the movie, but I had some serious issues with the emotional affair and the child situation.
Looked at through a more innocent lens, this movie is brilliant acting on the part of Davis. She shined in her role and the way she came out of her shell was great. Henreid played a handsome hero figure and the romance satisfied, despite it being doomed.
If you’re in the mood for a movie with an ending you won’t see coming, then this might be the one for you.