Lolita (1962) (Blu-ray)(Warner Home Video, 5.31.2011)
The myth about Lolita, Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of the 1955 Vladimir Nabokov novel, is that it was made too soon, before mainstream films were allowed to be sexually explicit. However, the novel -- which was called pornographic in the uptight Eisenhower era -- isn't really all that explicit either. What matters is Nabokov’s vision of America, embracing its distinctive blend of innocence and vulgarity, Humbert Humbert’s slow realization that he truly loves Dolores Haze and his guilt over stealing her childhood. While Kubrick cannot approximate Nabokov’s style, he has an exhilarating style of his own, which helps capture the writer’s other intentions. The film's only glaring weakness is the casting of Sue Lyon (who at times resembles both Ann-Margret and Elvis Presley) in the title role. Fifteen when the film was made, Lyon adequately captures her character’s coquettishness but reveals nothing beneath Lolita’s surface.