Tuesday, April 21, 2009

a staunch review

so i watched it. there is a lot to say really. not sure where to begin. ok, first off let me just say much of this movie was speculation and for the sake of dramatization i guess there has to be to a certain extent. i'll start with what i liked...the set WAS amazing. i was so in love with that dark blue, almost iridescent paint on the walls of their living room. gorgeous!!! the house inside and out was fabulous and fabulously shot too. the lighting was beautiful. things you may not notice when watching a movie, but i do. man do i! you WILL notice when it is terrible though, true dat! the house in ruins was astounding. i would have HATED to be the art department/props team on this part of the movie. my husband did this for a living for a while and let me tell you- driving all around the filming location (and beyond)to find EXACTLY what the set designer wants often to no avail leaving you to MAKE the sought after prop would not be fun on this movie.
the costumes were fantastic as well, especially that satin-y white hooded number drew wore. the costumes for the later years (in the documentary) were so dead on accurate! i want to know who knitted that blue and black scarf that is exactly like the one little edie wore back in 1975. IT IS THE SAME!!! and it's knit, so unless someone just happened to have this in their closet, someone had to have made it. set and costume teams will win awards for shiz on this movie.
alright!! so i feel like i am avoiding the inevitable...my review of the performances.
lets start with jess. how can you fault this woman as an actress? you can't, that's how. she played the selfish bratty socialite perfectly, her husband didn't get her and had no time for her antics, so she turned to a (probably gay) musician for companionship and at the end she was abandoned by everyone she loved. so her codependent ass made her daughter come back and care for her...selfish selfish selfish!!! jessica can give us controlled crazy like on one else. i mean what can you say? plus that scene with the song?? it was dead on perfect.
now with drew i think we were all excited to see her performance and she delivered a fine one. but, i wish she had given us a bit more coo-coo and a LOT more sad. there were glimpses of it, but i wanted more. i wanted to see a few more scenes recreated from the documentary. in fact, there are a few in there that are so heart-wrenchingly sad that i think the addition of them into the movie would have given more insight as to why they let themselves go like that. i mean after all that's the fascination with this story, how could such a prominent, affluent family live like this? this is why the crazy factor was missing for me. the embarrassment would have been way too palpable if these women were sane.
overall i had less of a problem with the performances then i did with the telling of the story. i think both women delivered beautifully, but i feel what we were all looking for was more insight as to how they let their house and lives fall into ruin like that. and while we get an idea, albeit a speculative one, of their lives as young women the overall decline in thier mental health was glossed over.
so will both women be nominated for their roles? absolutely! who will win? drew will.


Visual Vamp said...

What a great wrap up (and good writing for someone who says she doesn't wrtie ha ha).
We had a glimpse of Big Edie's madness after Gould left her, and she started letting the house go, when the husband let the servants go.
How this evolved into their squalor needed to be told, and the movie neglected this.
Also in the beginning there was an early glimpse at how fragile Little Edie was at her deb ball, when mother made a reference to Little Edie's hair falling out. I wish there had been more about that too.
All of us walk a fine line between the bag lady who might be us, and I too wish the movie might have told us more of the whys of their madness.
Watch Sienna Miller in Factory Girl, another story of another sad Edie, a film which delves deep into her demons.
Keep writing more please!
xo xo

Anonymous said...

Let me preface my comment with the revelation that astonishing beauty and apparent talent often precede a short coming. I've yet to find it in what you've shown us so far Jenny, so let me apologize for revealing that you can make one nervous like a school boy. I work in fashion so i often peruse design blogs for inspiration. I typically set myself on a path and while i may remember the item of inspiration, i rarely remember where it came from. You're beauty made me curious, but your talent has drawn me further.
As for this posting - I live in France but grew up in Switzerland and spent summers as a young boy on holiday in the Hamptons. I had surprisingly never heard of this family but am now more than intrigued by their story. I actually know kalina ivanova through a friend of mine so I'll certainly look her up to discuss.
And - as not to simply reveal myself as a designer with a crush, I was inspired by not only the imagary but themes in both this and Valorie's blog which got me the spark that i was looking for. - Thank you, ladies.

- Marcel Davidson

jenny said...

i think we are both on the same page with the movie valorie. and thanks for the writing compliment but it honestly took an hour or more to write that.

marcel- thanks again! you are doing wonders for my ego! where can we bloggers see some of your stuff, i.e. blog, website, work etc..?

ks said...

hi jenny,
i think you touched on a lot of things that i didn't like about the movie.
i was excited to see it, i'm a big fan of both actresses, and saw the original when i was in college :) i never forgot it.
since then, however, mental illness has lost its charm for me, so to speak.
i am no longer curious in a voyeuristic way, or fascinated by people who are a heartbeat away from the street.
i think that's what disappointed me.
i stopped watching right when drew was going to get her first big break, i just didn't want to go through the heartache, i knew where it was going.
i guess it's just not a topic that's held up for all these yrs.
some design blogs have been ga-ga over the shabby chicness of the house in squalor, or whatever.
it's all just very sad.
but you did a great job summing up your thoughts, and i agree--
not enough about the time between the highs and lows.