Saturday, November 7, 2009

Latest Oscar-winner seen: The Three Faces of Eve (1957)

Wow! This movie was much more shocking than I expected. It was great mostly due to the simply magnificent Joanne Woodward. To tell the truth I wasn't familiar with her films very much. Now, it's going to change.
She's playing a quiet and simple housewife Eve White, who suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder. She's also Eve Black the bohemian and very funny party girl and the very repressed and quiet Jane. With the help of a psychiatrist (played by Lee J. Cobb) she tries to defeat her other personalities.
Hmm... Interesting, isn't it? Well, it is. Of course it's a bit softened version of the disease and the movie was made in 1957, but it's still quite ahead of its time in my opinion.
Orson Welles who was offered the role of dr Luther said when he read the screenplay, that anyone who got the role of Eve was going to win an Oscar for sure. Joanne Woodward did and very deservedly. She was quite unknown at the time and this movie was sort of a breakthrough for her. Her performance is really emotional, deep. Her portrayal of a mentally ill woman is astonoshingly realistic. Everything is perfect about her and I really cannot say anything negative about her acting.
But apart from Woodward, is there anything that makes this movie unforgettable? To tell the truth there isn't. There are good scenes, but they work because there's Joanne Woodward to make them work. Lee J. Cobb was nothing special in his role and I expected much more from him. Just think about his performances in On the Waterfront an 12 Angry Men and you'll see why his acting in this film was a bit disappointing. But it's also the screenplay's fault that he was not given very much to do.
OK, to sum up I really enjoyed this movie and I gave a very-very high ranking for Joanne Woodward on the list of the Best Actress winners (#13, right after Maggie Smith). So real Oscar nerds mustn't miss The Three Faces of Eve.
My grade: 7.5/10
Nominations: Best Actress (Joanne Woodward, WON)
My wins: Naturally, Joanne Woodward.

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