Release Date: November 1990.
Awards: Nominated for 2 Academy Awards for Best Original Score (by John Williams) and Best Original Song (for Somewhere in My Memory – which I don’t remember hearing, but there we go).
Rating: 7.6/10 on IMDb and a 80% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, which is honestly a surprise based on the fact that just about everyone goes on and on about how great it is.
This is the classic festive tale of familial neglect and the infliction of terror on a child, Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), by two burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern). Ignoring the fact that Kevin is a very enterprising young man and manages to cause the burglars a great deal of inconvenience (and pain), it’s still a pretty sinister concept.
It takes Kevin’s mum (Catherine O’Hara) a worryingly long time to realise she’s left her youngest son at home while she sits in the first class cabin on a flight to Paris. I mean, fair play, once she realises that she’s abandoned her kid, she makes a bloody good effort to get back to him ASAP. Still not sure if it redeems leaving him behind in the first place though.
I don’t think I ever fully understood how amazing an actor Macaulay Culkin is in this film. Say what you like about the effects of childhood stardom on people, especially this kid, but you can see why he was the child star of like a good 70% of 90s movies (that’s not an actual calculation. Don’t @ me).
Apparently Culkin was easier to work with than Joe Pesci who decided that some of his dialogue wasn’t quite up to par with an actor of his calibre. Pesci was also a bit of a diva about the early calls because he couldn’t start his day with 9 holes of golf, which he liked doing. It’s honestly things like these that make you truly appreciate the struggle of being a grown ass adult man who doesn’t know his luck.
As an aside, I thought it would be a really cool “meta” idea for next week’s review to be Angels with Filthy Souls, the movie which Kevin steals a bunch of dialogue from during his home security experience. However, my lack of film knowledge expressed itself again as the movie was made up for Home Alone. So yeah, that’s not happening is it? The scene was filmed in a day using black and white film and 40’s appropriate props to make it feel like a real movie. It was actually a parody of the film Angels with Dirty Faces, which I just thought was a Sugababes album.
OK, so I really wish I’d seen this movie sooner. It’s really good and stupidly funny. I also don’t think I’ll ever get over how surprised I was by Macauley Culkin’s acting. If you, like me, have somehow missed it, go and watch it. It’ll be on TV somewhere at this time of year for sure!
Oh, and by the way, fair play to Kevin for tidying up after all the chaos. That house is sparkling at the end. I definitely wouldn’t have done that at age 8. Or now, actually…
Is there an iconic film or album you think I should have experienced by now? Let me know @MoveToTRASHUK #latelatereview