Lower back in uk cinemas as a part of the bfi’s dustin hoffman season, mike nichols’s near-flawless class satire still feels as sly, contemporary and bracing because it should have in 1967. Hoffman plays ben braddock, the twitchy, disaffected son of middlebrow california wealth who starts an ill-recommended affair with anne bancroft’s bored-out-of-her-thoughts cougar mrs robinson, however finds himself way out of his intensity. Limitless scenes have leaked into the wider lifestyle: mrs robinson blocking off ben’s fearful break out with one perfectly placed leg;
A tedious pal of the own family preventing our hero to discuss his bright destiny inside the promising international of plastics; hoffman floating topless on a lilo, this diminutive big apple theatre actor knowingly posed as a paragon of glamorous hollywood manhood. Simon and garfunkel’s cheery songs are lovable – although, as paul simon has admitted, the song ‘mrs robinson’ has no relevance to the movie other than its name. And the chase-to-the-church finale is extraordinary, culminating in one of the most unnerving and downbeat remaining pictures in cinema. It’s viable to select holes – katharine ross is wrongly underserved as mrs robinson’s relatively bland daughter. But its combination of sardonic wit and simmering frustration hasn’t aged an afternoon.