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YMMV / Mrs. Miniver

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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The sequence of Kay discovering a German pilot being shot down and momentarily being held up in her kitchen seems especially out of place. Tonally it's more like a thriller/suspense sequence akin to an Alfred Hitchcock film - and clashes with the more dramatic tone of the story. Especially with the German soldier being cartoon villain levels of evil (clearly a propaganda tool at the time). Aside from a comedy bit when Clem returns from Dunkirk, it's never referenced again after the fact.
  • Funny Moments:
    • The scene of Gladys grappling with fury and sadness at her Horace enlisting. He has to remind her that she should at least wait until he's killed before she starts mourning him. Clem encourages her to have some sherry - and she downs the whole glass to switch from sobbing to giddiness.
    • At a family dinner, Toby randomly decides to ask Vin if he'll marry Carol. The Cringe Comedy turns heartwarming as Carol asks Toby to ask her if she'll marry Vin - and her answer is yes if he asks.
    • Ada the cook innocently letting slip that Kay apprehended a German soldier while he was away at Dunkirk. Kay acts as if it was nothing, and then goes Oh, Crap! as soon as she hears that Lady Beldon is downstairs. Clem says that of course she can't be afraid to face the old woman, if subduing a German soldier was nothing to her.
    "Clement Miniver, don't you dare smile."
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    • Mr Ballard's first scene where he declares he'll name his rose after Mrs Miniver - because her repeated trips on the train brighten his day and he can't think of someone more appropriate to name the rose after.
    • To say nothing of Lady Beldon choosing to give the first prize to Mr Ballard. You can tell that she's experiencing Good Feels Good, and then assures him that the best rose won. He's so stunned he can barely stand.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • There are some scenes where Vin seems to hover between kissing Carol first or his mother. And when he returns home to find the two at the top of the stairs, he says he doesn't know which one to turn to. His actor Richard Ney ended up marrying Greer Garson - who played his mother.
    • Only three years later, Teresa Wright would do The Best Years of Our Lives - which was about recovering from the Second World War.
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  • Jerkass Woobie: It turns out that crotchety Lady Beldon was a wartime bride as well - marrying at sixteen and losing her husband only weeks later. By the end she's a sobbing mess at the death of her beloved granddaughter.
  • She Really Can Act: Greer Garson at the time had yet to really prove herself as an actress. She'd had a well-received supporting debut in Goodbye, Mr. Chips, but it was widely thought that she was there to play English Roses in costume dramas like Pride and Prejudice (1940). Here however she delivers a layered performance of a housewife having to endure the horrors of the war, as well as the impassioned scene where she tries to comfort her dying daughter-in-law. She won the Best Actress Oscar for it.
  • Signature Scene: The priest's closing monologue in the bombed out church has gone down as one of the most famous scenes in war film history.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: It was wartime, after all. The film shows how the civilians of the countryside would be affected by the chaos.
  • Tear Jerker: The aftermath of the bombing raid in which Carol was killed. We see Lady Beldon collapse into a sobbing mess alone in her private box in the church. The priest's speech also informs us of the death of a choir boy, and most heartbreakingly the beloved Mr Ballard.
  • Values Dissonance: Clem gives his wife a spank that sounds quite hard, and Kay does seem to be a bit hurt by it. Presented as a playful moment that probably wouldn't fly today.
  • Values Resonance: Carol's speech about how it's better to do something rather than just talk about it is likely to strike a cord with many people in the days of virtue signalling and Know Nothing Know It Alls on the internet.
    "I know how comfortable it is to curl up with a nice, fat book full of big words and think you're going to solve all the problems in the universe. But you're not, you know. A bit of action is required every now and then."


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