Sunday, May 23, 2010
Best Actress 1969: Jane Fonda in They Shoot Horses Don't They ?
Jane Fonda received her first Oscar nomination for playing Gloria Beatty in They Shoot Horses Don't They? Gloria is a bitter woman who ran away from her home in Kansas in the Great Depression and decides to join a dance marathon. She is partnered with Robert Syverton (Michael Sarrazin), and they are both competing for a $1500 prize. But the marathon is a torturous experience and the people who run it are determined to keep the show on, even if that means lying about the contestant's conditions and making them suffer.
Jane Fonda blew me away in Klute and she gives another amazing performance here. She shows Gloria's bitterness and toughness and it all works. We see her determination to win , and her refusal to lose. Fonda and Sarrazin work brilliantly together, showing that all they have is each other. Fonda subtly shows Gloria's realization that they are just being used for profit and her scenes at the end are a marvel to behold, as we see Gloria's world crumbling around her. A triumphant feat which gets