I would have liked to see the Sam Taylor-Johnson’s version of Fifty Shades Of Grey without the EL James interference. I would have liked to see her make the movie that was her complete vision. Because you can actually see the internal struggles unfold on film.
For starters, it’s too long. Like at least 20 minutes too long, if not more. And it’s too long because there are repetitive scenes featuring Anastasia and Christian going back and forth about when she’s going to agree to the contract. We don’t need to see that 4 times. It might have had to be that way in the book because EL James didn’t write it with an editor but in the theatre, you’re just pissing off the audience.
That’s where James’s hand could have been removed. In favour of Sam Taylor-Johnson and Kelly Marcel’s ideas. Like the moment when Christian stalks onto the bed towards Anastasia and unexpectedly bites her…toast. She’s eating toast. It’s adorable. It’s surprisingly sexy, hot as f-ck. And too quick. There’s not enough of it.
As for that decision about using the word “stop” or “red” in the final moments (click here for a refresher), it’s fine the way it is, and probably a bigger f-cking deal than it should have been given the alleged argument it turned into, but, yeah, the subtle difference it would have made in tone is the difference here between Sam’s vision and James’s lack of it.
If Anastasia had said “red” instead, she would have been using his instructions against him, throwing it in his face, the ultimate rejection but also a demonstration of powerful contempt. As a viewer, that would have moved me a lot more than how the scene stands now.
These are the differences that add up over two hours. This is what could be the difference between a 4 at best and, well, at minimum a 6 or a 7 out of 10. Sam deserves at least that.
But enough talk of the movie…
Can we pay attention to My Obsession? And how right they look together, more and more?