Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Next Year

Now it's time to move on and continue the fun with a very controversial and talked about year, which is talked about mostly because of two nominees. But let's see which one of them I prefer or I go with someone else.


So the nominees were:
  • Dorothy Dandridge in Carmen Jones
  • Judy Garland in A Star is Born
  • Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina
  • Grace Kelly in The Country Girl
  • Jane Wyman in Magnificent Obsession
So what do you think? Who's your pick? What's your ranking? Any predictions for my ranking? I am not sure either as I have previously seen only one of them.

I've already written Grace Kelly's profile, so she will be the first, but YOU decide who the next should be.

The Final Conclusion - Best Actress 1939

About the field: This was a legendary year for Best Picture and pretty great for Best Actress. And I can say this very easily. I was so happy to (re-)watch these performances and movies. I liked them all, though sometimes I was a bit disappointed as that nominee is praised everywhere. So that was the only disappointing thing here, but that performance grew on me a bit. My #5 may not have belonged to this category, but actually there wasn't any other Best Actress performance I would have nominated instead of her. #4 was very good, though a bit uneven, I was mesmerized by #2 and #1 (big surprise) REALLY blew my socks off. This was one of the easiest rankings so far, though I believed (before starting) that it would be much more difficult. But let's just see the results (which are not surprising if you read my reviews):

This was a heartwarming and charming performance, which wasn't full of opportunities, but Garson did her best in my opinion and was able to show her immense charisma for the first time on screen. Leading or supporting? Doesn't really matter. 
I saw a performance that disappointed me to a degree (mostly because the movie is so horrid), but there are extremely strong scenes so I really cannot say that I did not enjoy it (and it considerably grew on me). I did not find her as great as everyone else, but she's quite good.

This performance is also quite unusual as it basically consists of two different performances.I can say that I was impressed by Garbo once again and she gave an excellent performance full of charm, humor and her grabbing persona.
In a movie, which was her personal favorite, Dunne was able to create a lively, charming, emotional and lovely performance, which might be a bit slow for others, but I was a total sucker for this one. Excellent, intelligent work.

Do I need to explain this? We can be grateful for the miracle that was born on-screen 71 years ago. I could go on and on, I could write a novel as long as Gone with the Wind itself about her, but I just wrap up by saying that I was overwhelmed, entertained, delighted, amazed, moved, amused and mesmerized by Vivien Leigh.

So I can proudly announce
that my winner is (hands down)...
Vivien Leigh 
Gone With the Wind

Tears of a WINNER! :-)

So my next year: I thought it would be very uncertain and I had more years to pick from after all, but somehow life decided it for me. This year is very often talked about but mostly only two of the nominees (especially one). So the clues:
  • #1 hated loss
  • Far From Heaven: The Origin
  • Deglam forever!
I think huge fans found it out from the first clue immediately. :-)

Irene Dunne in Love Affair

My darling Irene Dunne received her fourth Best Actress nomination for playing Terry, a woman in love in Love Affair, the original version of the 1957 romantic classic, An Affair to Remember. Poor Irene Dunne, she never won an Oscar, she deserved so much and not even an Honorary Oscar. It's a funny world we live in: Reese Witherspoon is an Oscar-winner and Dunne never got an award. Shame. I think she had the least chance of winning in this year as she was a serious threat to win in her other years (particularly 1937 and 1948). I guess she was fourth after all.

Love Affair is an excellent and entertaining love story, which was really so natural and enjoyable that I loved the most of it. The second part of the movie is a bit rushed though, I think they could have told something more about these characters. This is not a real complaint actually, as I liked the movie as it was, but it could have lasted a bit longer since I wanted more of the joy. Charles Boyer was a brilliant actor (it's so awful that he's a bit forgotten nowadays) and he proved it here once again. Maria Ouspenskaya deserved her Oscar nom, but a win would have been much. I can say the same about the movie.

And Irene Dunne. In a way. While I was watching Love Affair, I became a real fan of Ms. Dunne. Actually, I had previously seen only two of her films. I loved her in The Awful Truth (her best performance and I am really loud with this opinion in the blogosphere LOL), but I felt a bit neutral toward her in I Remember Mama (but that was actually the movie's fault). Right now, I am proud to say that I'm an official Irene Dunne fan and I am going to watch as many of her films as I can.

But since this blog is not an Irene Dunne fanclub, I have to talk about her performance in Love Affair. And she's (once again) simply wonderful and has a very magnetic and charming presence. From the very beginning to the very last scene I was in love with her: everything was so right, so lovely, so enchanting, so adorable, so emotional.

This performance very successfully combines the technical and the emotional part. I was totally mesmerized by her sometimes and although I thought sometimes that she wasn't that amazing, she totally grew on me in a couple of minutes(!). I needed a little bit of time to fully appreciate her very intelligent and subtle acting.

She took this very simple and ordinary character and she created an effective mix with which she totally amazed me. I always felt that behind the smiling face of Terry there was some deep bitterness, but also so much hope for a better, calm life with a man with whom she can share her feelings and secrets. It's so heartbreaking to see her trying to be a mother of the orphans as she does not have children. Again, her eyes tell everything we need to know.

Another amazing thing about this performance is that Dunne is never too sentimental or soappy. She could so easily hold herself back in the dangerous scenes (most of her peers should have learned from her example). I love that Irene Dunne was always able to control a performance and show the real face of her character (and by this she also might sacrifice the big impact).

Her chemistry with Charles Boyer is simply perfect: they just look so well together that you instantly think that this is a match made in Heaven. Oh yes, that's the romantic side of me, but the merciless critic is impressed in me too. I have never been afraid to criticize popular performances or to express my fondness of least loved achievements. I am not saying this to hail myself, but to show Dunne's brilliance. There wasn't doubt in me for a second that I would not like her.

In a movie, which was her personal favorite, Dunne was able to create a lively, charming, emotional and lovely performance, which might be a bit slow for others, but I was a total sucker for this one. She's just becomes better and better as I think about her. Excellent, intelligent work.
So what do you think? You cannot officially predict now, but if you have any thoughts or observations or questions, please share it. The final conclusion is soon to come.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Greta Garbo in Ninotchka

Greta Garbo received her fourth and final Best Actress nomination for playing Ninotchka, a communist woman in the movie Ninotchka by Ernst Lubitsch. I'm quite sure that Garbo would have won the Oscar if it wasn't for Vivien Leigh, as she was Oscarless and a huge star in an unusual role. I think she was the third after Davis that year, but I guess I should watch the results somewhere. No matter what, Garbo finally had to make do with an Honorary Award.

Ninotchka is a very entertaining and funny movie (in an old-fashioned way) and it has some very satirical thoughts which I especially loved. It makes fun of communism, capitalism, Lenin, the Russian royals, everything, of course in a very subtle way. Although some of the jokes might seem dated, they are all extremely witty and charming. The situations however are excellently directed and acted by all the actors. Melvyn Douglas is quite amusing, but this is far from his best works.

But nobody can deny a sequence that made movie history: "Garbo laughs". Yes, that was pretty special considering Garbo's ice queen personality in movies and in real life. Therefore, I think that this movie's (and performance's) enourmous popularity is mostly due to this one unforgettable and charmingly weird scene.

This performance is also quite unusual as it basically consists of two different types of acting. In the first half, it's Garbo's usual ice queen and in the second half Garbo is so unusually charming and lovely that it was a bit distracting for me. Now it's needless to say that I preferred the first half, which is more usual, but in my humble opinion much stronger and ten thousand times funnier.

In Greta Garbo's first scene, we see a stoned-faced, serious, humorless, loveless, cold, merciless, unkind, grumpy feminist and communist, who just stands there and says a fast and brilliant line: "Please don't make an issue of my womanhood". We can see how much Ninotchka sticks to her principles and how much she cares about her country and the people in it. And she's brutally hilarious and deadly witty.

I think her greatest scene in this movie is when she wants to cross the street and asks how much time she has to wait until the next whistle. Garbo so easily makes fun of this cold character and also herself. There's so much self-irony in this part, that's certainly very impressive. She had so much effect on me and her presence was extremely strong and magnetic the whole time.

Also, there are some small details of her performance that I loved: the movements of her face, her eyes, eyebrows and the way she walks. Moreover, I loved that she added a touch of dramatic depth to the character. I felt a bit sad when she left the apartment of Melvyn Douglas after the phone call. It was again, simply brilliant.

But who could ever forget the laughing scene? I saw this movie years and years ago without knowing about the "Garbo laughs" thing, but that's the only sequence that I remembered. And deservedly so: it's so lovely, charming and unforgettable. You just want to go there and give Garbo a hug. She just cannot be resisted and you laugh along with her and everyone else. This is a really great achievement.

But that scene is unfortunately the end of Garbo's true brilliance in the movie as the other part of the performance comes, which lacks the (self-)irony I loved the most about the first half and Garbo's acting goes a bit downhill. It's far from not being enjoyable, but it's not that magnetic and hilarious anymore. Actually, she's less dramatic with more drama and less funny with bigger opportunities. This was quite a dangerous part, because it's so easy.

I must admit though that I was charmed once again by her drunk scene, which was hilarious and I liked the ending too, but I just missed the wit and simplicity of the beginning.

However, I can say that I was impressed by Garbo once again and she gave an excellent performance full of charm, humor and her grabbing persona. Rating is not that easy however: the first half is a very easy five, however the second is not more than three and a half. Four would be a bit low for her and four and a half would be high for her. Great performance nevertheless.
So what do you think? Now it's time to give your last predictions! :) I accept them until I post Irene's profile.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bette Davis in Dark Victory

Bette Davis received her fourth Best Actress nomination for playing Judith Traherne, a careless young socialite diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor in the melodrama Dark Victory. I really did not know until yesterday that Bette Davis was actually a serious threat to win over Vivien Leigh. But we all know who got the award after all. I guess Greta Garbo and Irene Dunne might have got some votes after their big losses to Luise Rainer.

Dark Victory is a quite a mediocre and not very credible melodrama. I just really wasn't able to fully concentrate and it never grabbed my attention. The lowest point in it is easily the awful screenplay: it's full of mistakes and lacks every reality, though the character of Bette Davis is worked out quite well. Everyone else is so one-dimensional and I always thought that they were just there to make Bette Davis look better. You might think that Humphrey Bogart is great, but he really did not have anything to work with. He was (along with Ronald Reagan) the most useless character.

Bette Davis is an interesting case for me. I really love her works late in her career (All about Eve or Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?), because there's so much irony, wit and deep human drama in them, but I feel rather mixed about her earlier films. I love Jezebel or Now, Voyager, but I couldn't stand The Letter for instance. In many ways she's just like Meryl Streep: sometimes she gives amazing performances in great movies and sometimes she's just too melodramatic in awful films. So I was extremely worried about Dark Victory. It's true that people seem to love it, but that was the case with The Letter too.

I'm not saying that I am as disappointed as I was with The Letter, but this wasn't enough for me either. This role is 100% Bette and it totally fits her, but there was something again that I was missing.

But back to the role: this is a pure tearjerker with predictable character development. You know exactly what's going to happen, when and how. There are no surprises in the whole movie or in Bette's performance. That's not totally her fault actually, as it's more due to the horrible screenplay which really doesn't let her be complex, despite giving a baity role.

In the beginning, Judith is a charming, but reckless young girl, throwing parties, riding on horses, chatting, having fun. Her world however turns upside down, when she gets to know that she has cancer. Bette Davis showed the reactions of this young woman quite well: first she's in denial because she's afraid, but she eventually finds peace and prepares for death calmly. This aspect of Bette's performance is flawless, in my opinion. She understood Judith's emotions perfectly and got them across quite easily to the audience.

And here comes a very big BUT: she never really grabbed my attention. I'm not saying that I was not moved by her occasionally, but sometimes I had to force myself to pay attention to her as sometimes she was a bit boring. I don't mind when a performance is overly dramatic (see my review of Vivien Leigh), but this was a bit too much sometimes. Those big tears sometimes really made me angry. I would have sold half of my kingdom for some subtlety.

There are great and very memorable scenes though. Like the one where she discovers the truth at the doctor's office while watching her own case file or when she asks the singers to go on with the party, because "time doesn't sleep". These sequences really rocked and certainly impressed me and they made me rate her much more positively.

So to sum up, I saw a performance that disappointed me to a degree, but there are such strong scenes that I really cannot say that I did not enjoy it. I did not find her as great as everyone else, but she's quite good. My rating will be higher than you would think, but I find it reasonable.

So what do you think? Any thoughts or observations? I am EAGER and ANXIOUS to read the COMMENTS! :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind

Vivien Leigh was a lucky actress. She was nominated for two Best Actress Oscars and won both of them. AND everybody agrees with both of her wins. Quite rare thing. She received her first acclaim for her legendary Hollywood debut as Scarlett O'Hara, a stubborn and greedy Southern belle in The Classic, Gone with the Wind. Really, I think she had that Oscar in her bag when she got the role of Scarlett. I don't think it was much of a surprise for anyone that she won the Academy Award.

Gone with the Wind is a brilliant movie, a true classic. Actually if you ever asked someone with a minimal knowledge of movies to say the title of only ONE classic movie, it's 60% sure that they would say Gone with the Wind (or Casablanca). David O. Selznick was really not stingy with the movie, consumed a handful of directors, but it was really worth it: GWTW is an eternal classic, the one that everyone adores. But it wouldn't be the same without the great actors: Clark Gable was ROBBED of that award as much as Hattie MacDaniel deserved that statuette (=very much). Olivia de Havilland is good, though I'm not a great fan of hers.

But really, this movie IS Vivien Leigh. I mean, the story how she got this role is a legend in itself: this unknown British stage actress won the role of Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn. And this was heavenly mercy: could ANY of you imagine "drama queen" Davis as Scarlett or Hepburn? I even dare say that they would have RUINED this movie. Scarlett was, is and always will be Vivien Leigh.

There are iconic performances like, say, Anne Bancroft in The Graduate or Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd. And there's Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind. When I love a certain performer in a movie, I like to re-watch the most memorable scenes. But really, if I wanted to re-watch Leigh's greatest moments, I would have to start Gone with the Wind all over. From the very beginning to the end, you cannot take your eyes off her. Her presence is just magnetic: although the character is far from likeable, you just love her acting. When I had to stop the movie to change the disc, I was so overwhelmed by her that I couldn't move really.

Scarlett's so sharp-toungued, so witty, so romantic, so beautiful, so sexy. Throughout the movie I could always see something in Leigh's eyes (which is quite different from her actual personality), which made her look like a wild, sexy tiger. And Scarlett really is a wild, sexy tiger.

As for sexiness: Leigh and Gable were able to create such emotional and sexual tension, that it almost burns up the screen. Their chemistry is just amazing, it's probably a real example for nowadays' movies: you don't have to have frontal sex scenes to create amazing tension.

There's another aspect of her which is truly outstanding: the magnificent character development. She starts out as a spoiled girl, who loves being pampered and adored. Then her heart becomes more and more stiffened, she becomes extremely moneyed and greedy, but ends up being a broken-down, sad and disappointed woman. She does not get from point A to B only, but at least to point F. She's truly believable and convincing in the role. Somehow the border between the actress and the role disappeared. Really, if someone says Scarlett O'Hara, I instantly think about the brilliant, charming and beautiful Vivien Leigh.

Many people love to idolize the character of Scarlett and her bitchiness, but here's my answer: people do NOT love Scarlett, it's Leigh's brilliance in the role that they admire. She's in fact so great that she could amaze anybody regardless of age or anything. She's as popular with a 14-year-old as she is with a 70-year-old. She was the first Oscar-winner that I saw (I know I said once that it was Jane Fonda, but I was wrong) when I was 9 or 10 years old. And I was just as fascinated by her as I was now. If there's a defintion of a legendary, classic performance it's definitely Vivien Leigh.

So to sum up the raving, we can be grateful for the miracle that was born on-screen 71 years ago. I could go on and on, I could write a novel as long as Gone with the Wind itself about her, but I just wrap up by saying that I was overwhelmed, entertained, delighted, amazed, moved, amused and mesmerized by Vivien Leigh. This is the way I can honor her. Thank you, Ms. Leigh.

Damn, do I need this silly rating for her?

What do you think? I know I promised this post for tomorrow, but I had time and I couldn't wait! :) I'm so overwhelmed that I will withdraw my change in the rules of the prediciting contest and you can still predict.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Greer Garson in Goodbye Mr. Chips

Greer Garson, the Oscar-queen of the forties received her first nomination for playing Katharine the lovely wife in the movie Goodbye Mr. Chips, her movie debut. Now I'm pretty sure that there was only one option for the name of the winner and it wasn't Greer Garson. Frankly, she had the least chance to win. She was a newcomer and did not have a very baity role.

Goodbye Mr. Chips is a very good (though a bit sentimental) movie about a shy, kind and friendly teacher, who's an icon of his school. It's quite probably the first high-profile "inspring teacher movie", it's the origin of films like Dead Poets Society. Robert Donat (in somewhat an upset) won the Oscar which seemed to be going to one of his more highl-profile adversaries. Although I thought that he was occasionally very moving, I cannot say that I agree with his win (I don't know if I would vote for Gable, Stewart or Olivier). But as I said he's quite great and he himself makes the movie.

With the help of a great SUPPORTING player, Ms. Greer Garson. That leading nomination is not that justified as she's quite far from being the lead (or the co-lead for that matter). I think Fritz put it quite well in his review about Garson: in those day it wasn't about the length of the performance. There were stars and no stars. Garson was going to become a real superstar in the forties so you get the picture now I think.

My biggest problem is not the length of the role, you know that it never influences me (Geraldine Page, Patricia Neal etc), but Katharine's character is bit one-dimensional and underwritten. Too bad. That would also be a disadvantage if she was nominated supporting (though she probably would have won that way), because not even the greatest performers can do miracles with a thin part.

However, I must say that I was totally charmed by Greer Garson's presence throughout her time on screen. Greer's beauty, elegance and dignity can always shine and save her from being pale as actually (despite the fact that I thought that the part was underwritten and weak) I never felt that she was herself weak. Also, it's quite great that had I not known that this was her first motion picture performance I really would not have noticed since she moves with such experience, confidence and strength. This is instantly visible and impressive.

She makes it perfectly clear how life-loving and romantic this woman is. She truly wants to be with Chipping, loves her very much and supports her no matter what happens. I may even say that this performance is the origin of the caring wife roles.

Her first scene is rather usual and predictable. Chipping wants to save her, but things turn out oddly and they have to stay together for a while and share a coat. Right here Garson shows a face of Katherine, which is quite loveable, but unfortunately it never changes. I never really felt that her performance was going from point A to point B. There's absolutely no development, all she has to show is charm.

I would not be fair though if I wouldn't mention the very memorable Christmas scene, where she is really heartwarming and moving. When she says that her husband will be the headmaster once, Garson is so astonishingly real, that there wasn't doubt that he will be one day. This is quite probably the most memorable (and unfortunately last) sequence with Garson in it. Too bad.

To sum up, this was a heartwarming and charming performance, which wasn't full of opportunities, but Garson did her best in my opinion and was able to show her immense charisma for the first time on screen. I thought I was giving her less, but I wouldn't be fair if I gave her at least this much.

So I said that I would write on Friday, but things turned out more brightly and I had time. What do you think? It's time to give your last predictions as I made my prediction contest a bit more difficult now.

Celebration Time!

I'm very happy to announce that my blog has just become one year old. It all started with a review of Gaslight and one of my favorite actresses, Ingrid Bergman. And to celebrate this day, I will reveal some things about which you might have been wondering :
  • How to pronounce my nickname (dinasztie)? Well, it's quite difficult to write down, but you should say something like dee-nas-ty-eh.
  • Why did I start this blog? The answer is the words: not because of Stinky Lulu. Simply, I was just thinking about blogging and I said "I could do that". The topic was obvious for me.
  • Why haven't I talked about myself yet? Simply because everything is on my profile.
  • What's my favorite Oscar moment? Whenever they open the envelope.

I'm also preparing another surprise so stay tuned! :-)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Next Year

Now we are moving along with the next year, which is said to be the best year of movies ever. So it's quite understandable that I can't wait to see the performances and the films. Let's just start 1939.


So the nominees were:
  • Bette Davis in Dark Victory
  • Irene Dunne in Love Affair
  • Greta Garbo in Ninotchka
  • Greer Garson in Goodbye, Mr Chips
  • Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind*
So what are your predictions? Even I don't know what it will look like as I have seen only two of them. We'll see. I'm quite excited.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Final Conclusion - Best Actress 1978


So, I can say that Ellen Burstyn gives quite a good, entertaining, but surprisingly uneven performance, which is quite far from her best, but for an actress with less talent it would be a huge feat. But we're talking about Ellen Burstyn who's quite far from mediocre. What worked well on stage doesn't necessarily translate that well to the big screen.

This is fantastic, unforgettable acting for the ages and I'm really hoping that more people will discover Page's greatness in Interiors. Although I could have arguments that she's supporting, the impact of this performance is so strong that it truly stays with you. Somehow, all the things that usually bother me with Page's performances work in her favor here. Simply magnificent.

It's mainly Clayburgh's achievement that this whole thing works. She's the engine, the power, she has so much screentime (she's practically always on-screen) and a very baity role, which is much more layered than you would think. She gets into your mind and leaves there a seed which continues to grow and grow.

This is a fantastic, brilliant and unforgettable performance for the ages. I'm feeling so guilty about not giving her a win. In any other year, she would be a shoo-in for the award. Unfortunately, I have to go with Ingrid but my dear Jane is just wonderful and really heart-breaking as Sally Hyde. Excellent, unforgettable and thought-provoking work that grows with each view.

1. Ingrid Bergman in Autumn Sonata
This is, and now I'm not overly enthusiastic, one of the best and most true performances I have ever seen from an actor, male or female.She does not only haunt you for days, she remains with you for the rest of your life. I wish Bergman had the opportunity to say farewell to her film career with a last, glorious Oscar win for this once-in-a-lifetime performance.

So I can proudly announce
that my winner is...

Ingrid Bergman in Autumn Sonata
An astonishing farewell

About the field: If we switched Ellen Burstyn to Liv Ullmann in Autumn Sonata, this could be the strongest Best Actress field on record. I'm a huge fan of 3 of the nominees in general (hell, you all know how I feel about Jane) and even though I'm constantly biased towards Jane, I simply cannot pretend that anyone besides Ingrid Bergman deserved this Oscar. She takes acting to a whole, different level in Autumn Sonata, giving her absolute best performance. I sort of feel sorry for people who don't feel what many of us do feel about her. It's one helluva feeling and they miss a lot. :) 

  • Liv Ullmann in Autumn Sonata
  • Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween

And now it's time to give the clues to the next year, which was a very legendary year. If there's only ONE legendary year in motion picture history, this is it. No other clues and I helped you more than enough. :)

What do YOU think? :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ellen Burstyn in Same Time, Next Year

The great Ellen Burstyn (one of my favorite actresses) received her fourth Oscar nomination for reprising her Broadway role of Doris in the romantic comedy/drama Same Time, Next Year. Wow, I'm really sure that Ellen Burstyn received the least number of votes despite winning the Golden Globe (along with the great Maggie Smith). She won the Oscar four years before and really it wasn't her time.

Same Time, Next Year is a nice, but quite an ordinary romantic movie, which is certainly not for the ages, but it is occasionally very moving. As I said it's not the best one ever and it's not as entertaining as it was intended. I think this story is much better for the stage than the screen. Its famous song is really hailed and loved and I liked it a lot, but it did not blow me away. Alan Alda gives a great, if a bit uneven performance and I might even say that he deserved a nomination (I mean he has one reaaaally heartwrenching scene).

Ellen Burstyn is also good as Doris, but she's even more uneven than Alda. Although it's mostly the screenplay's fault, Ellen really could have don more with this role, I think. Actually, she gives multiple performances (each face of Doris is different and it's not that believable that she could change that much), so I' going to review them all.

In my opinion, the first Doris (in 1951) is just terrific: she's not very bright, but we can see how much more she could do with her life and what a lovely and warm person she is. Ellen totally caught her very simple thinking by adding a touch of irony to her. The start is just excellent and I thought that it would go on.

The second Doris of 1956 is probably the best acted one of all: right there Ellen totally grabbed my attention and I just could not take my eyes off her. There she's a bit like Julianne Moore in Far from Heaven: the kind, warm and perfect housewife of the late 50s. Her argument scene with Alan Alda at the airport is just unforgettable: when she says "I am a human being too" I almost got creeps. Her presence was really strong and I just loved her.

However, the best, most moving and funniest scene comes with the 1961 Doris. She has to deliver a baby in the room and Alan Alda doesn't know what to do. Her actions are so damn natural, funny and hearbreaking at the same time, that it's really an unbelievable packing. Although it's not as brilliant as the 1956 Doris, she's really just fine.

She totally loses her strength however in 1966, where Doris becomes a hippie. It's really not credible, it's awfully written and it was only for the sake of showing some trendy politics on screen (I would not have minded it had the movie's story justified it but it really did not fit the rest of it). Ellen is totally stuck in that awful character and she could not really find the way back to brilliance.

As the movie goes on, she doesn't really get that much better. The emancipated businesswoman Doris does not really have any showy or funny scenes and without great material, she really couldn't give anything memorable. I would have wanted some fire and music as Ellen Burstyn certainly is a fire-and-music actress. Her talent is so enourmous (see Requiem for a Dream, The Exorcist etc), but had I seen this movie first from her, I would not have had a great first impression of her.

The ending however (sort of) lives up to the first half and there are some good scenes. That "I'm already married" line is truly great, but it's not really THAT hearbreaking. I may have lost interest during the movie, but the effect of hers was really not that strong on me after all.

So, I can say that Ellen Burstyn gives quite a good, entertaining, but surprisingly uneven performance, which is quite far from her best works, but for an actress with less talent it would be a huge feat. But we're talking about Ellen Burstyn who's quite far from mediocre.
So what do you think? You cannot give your official predictions now! The final conclusion is here in a couple of hours!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hey everyone!

I'm just here to say that I will (most likely) do Ellen Burstyn's profile next Friday because of some scheduling problems. So sorry about that. But I have already planned my next year will be a reaaaally legendary one so stay tuned. I may even start it next week after Ellen and The Final Conclusion.