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One of the most eccentric and distinctive voices of the New Hollywood movement, Hal Ashby created some of the most interesting and unique American films of the period. None more so than Harold and Maue, the hilarious, shocking, bizarre yet somehow rather beautiful story of a young disillusioned man’s relationship with an elderly woman clinging to the end of her life. Harold’s suicidal tendencies and general dispondancy are directly addressed by Maude’s joix de vivre, and the results are often surreal, hilarious, poignant and rather delightful. Clearly a huge influence on the work of Wes Anderson, this remains as fresh and unique today as it was back in 1971. And the Criterion Blu-ray looks just grand.

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