[Header Image: Charles Farrell as Chico and Janet Gaynor as Diane]
“Not bad, eh? I work in the sewer – but I live near the stars!“
So, a little while back I toyed with the idea of watching every movie nominated for Best Picture which turned into me wanting to watch every movie nominated for any kind of Academy Award award. I really don’t plan to do anything other than keep track of what nominees I’ve seen via a letterboxd list I made and to potentially write a few reviews here and there like this one. It’s because of this random idea I had that I came across Seventh Heaven and I’m so glad that I did.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Seventh Heaven is a silent film that follows a sewer worker, Chico (Charles Farrell) who saves young woman, Diane (Janet Gaynor), and the pair fall in love before war eventually intervenes. It sounds like such a simple premiss, right? It is but as I said before, I’m so incredibly happy that I came across this movie because it is genuinely so good.
I’ll admit, this one was a total surprise! While looking into what movies were nominated in the first Academy Awards, I saw that people were saying great things about this one but I really didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. The beginning was a little shaky and it was the same towards the end. I hadn’t actually looked up what it was about so the war element did take me by surprise but even that was entertaining to watch once I got into it. And really, besides those shaky moments, the majority of Seventh Heaven had me completely invested.
It’s stupidly cute and so much fun. Farrell and Gaynor have such fantastic chemistry and it’s so easy to fall in love with them as they move across screen and interact with one another. There were so many elements about their predicament that I absolutely adored. In some ways, things really escalate quite quickly but it’s all so sweet and entertaining that you really just don’t care and become completely enveloped in them and their story.
I’ll be honest and say that silent films have never really been my thing. I think they’re wonderful and there’s so much to be admired when it comes to them but I never really find myself reaching for them. However, Seventh Heaven is just such a genuine joy to watch that I would definitely consider it a favourite and I’m so happy I have the silly idea of watching as many Academy nominated movies as possible.
Seventh Heaven really is a great piece of romance that’s got the perfect amount of drama and is just delightful all round.
Rating: ★★★★ /5