One Mutha of a Film Festival, Day 5
So far my very own Film Festival has given you the "Must Have" day, the Men, the Kids, and the Rock and Roll. But Mutha would never forget the women! How could Mutha do that to you? Call Day Five Femme Fest, because these movies shall all feature women who need you to sit back and think them over for a minute...No! Don't turn your back on them, you might be sorry.
As if Joan Crawford's eyebrows aren't enough to worry a soul, the woman is shot in such extreme light and shoulder pads in this one that she'll scare you even when she's supposed to be happy. But when seeking out Joan, what could be more fabulous! Crawford is amazing in this film noir about a crooked husband's murder and the price women pay if they become (gasp) successful business owners.
Alright, alright! I loved the Flying Nun so much when I was little that I used to run around my backyard pretending to fly and talk to the Reverend Mother. I admit it! But that is not why Sally Field is here. It's because she kicks ass in this movie. Instead of a full-blown saint/martyr, Norma Rae is an imperfect, factory-working, single mom who sleeps with the wrong guys -- and Sally plays her gritty, frightened, lovable, and very real.
And I don't even like Kevin Costner. Then why Bull Durham? Because I love baseball and I love Susan Sarandon. Her character Annie is a quasi-intellectual Southern Belle turned hardball guru. I tell you, there is nothing like her explaining how the game has to be embraced as a non-linear experience. But another reason why her character is such a memorable one is because she is a woman beyond her twenties who has a real sexual appetite and is not a homicidal freak on the side (see: Fatal Attraction). Imagine that.
Harold and Maude
This cult film about suicide and the difficulty of having a really good blind date is great for so many reasons, but none out shine Ruth Gordon. Her Maude is the splash of life in the otherwise morose experience of a lost young man (played by Bud Cort, who is also fantastic). And yet, just as the part could be presented as simplistically sunny, the plot turns and Gordon pulls out her incredible ability to play scenes almost entirely in her eyes and face. Worth obsessive renting from the video store.
Yeah, well -- Kate Hepburn had to be here somewhere, right? There are many stories about the making of this film including real bodily harm, different accounts on how well the stars got along, who was drunk, who got malaria, but in the end -- how wrong could you go with Hepburn and Bogart? Kate is beguiling in this role because she begins the story as a shy woman of God and ends up screwing up the Nazis in the arms of Bogey himself. Warning: Leeches!