Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Review: Blue Sky (1994)
[First of all I'd like to say thanks again to Sage for sending me the link.]
Since I watched A Touch of Class, I know that I should not judge by imdb message boards saying "WORST WINNER EVER". Someone is always someone's worst winner so who know? But the movie was also a pleasant surprise.
The movie is about Carly (Lange), the emotionally unbalanced wife of a tough, but kind Army engineer Hank (Tommy Lee Jones). Their family moves to a military base, and she becomes part of a cover-up involving nuclear bomb tests.
Although the movie was completed in 1991, it could only come out in 1994, after the death of Tony Richardson. This was due to the bankruptcy of Orion Pictures. And I'm happy that it was not released in 1991, because than Jessica Lange would have had to compete against Jodie Foster in The Silence of The Lambs and the women from Thelma and Louise.
It's luck, because Lange's performance in Blue Sky is undoubtably worthy of the win. At the beginning her performance seemed to be over the top, but when I felt that I just paused the movie and tried to concentrate on it. And boy it was worth trying. After that, Lange gifted me with a thrilling performance, which is still in my mind and I guess it will be for a long time. Her phone scene with her husband or her meltdown were so thrilling that I was speechless. But I also must add that I understand those who dislike this performance, because it's a very hard one to handle and it's not a typical Oscar-winning performance, but I'm very happy that she won.
Tommy Lee Jones also gives an excellent performance as Hank, at least much better than those performances when he creates the biggest assholes in the world (The Fugitive and The Client). I think he could have received an Oscar nomination. Maybe.
Academy Award nominee Claire Snodgress gives a very memorable and strong performance as Vera, whose husband SPOILER!!! sleeps with Carly.
There are also some good turns by the young cast members Amy Locane and Chris O'Donell.
The story and the directing were very decent even though I would have expected much more from the director who created The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner or Tom Jones. But the movie itself is also quite enjoyable and it never slows down or becomes boring.
So I think people should watch this movie to see Jessica Lange's terrific and strange turn, but apart from her acting Blue Sky is not a special piece.
My Grade: 7/10
Nomination: Best Actress in a Leading Role (Jessica Lange WON)
My wins: Lange for Best Actress