Monday, August 16, 2010

Best Actress 1968: Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl



Barbara Streisand received her first Oscar nomination (and won in a tie with K.H) for playing famous stage star Fanny Brice in Funny Girl.



Funny Girl is, as Malcolm said in his review of it, completely a star vechile for Barbara Streisand. Fanny is a difficult role, one that requires star presense and a marvelous voice and Barbara has both. She absouletly nails the comic requirements of the role,, though it gets annoying, but that is sometimes the point. She also is able to make us believe the romance between Fanny and Nick, despite the fact that Omar Shariff is miscast. Barbara does a terrific job of adding vulnerability and lack of confidence in Fanny, and every emotion she shows in her is genuine. She has great timing, both comic and dramatic and of course, her singing is great. "I'm The Greatest Star" is filled with a thrilling rush of emotion, and is brought to even greater heights in Don't Rain On My Parade, while she gives both "People' and "Funny Girl" just the right amount of desperation and longing.


But her performance isn't 100 % perfect though. After "Don't Rain On My Parade", Barbara's acting starts becoming a little amateur . She seems a bit off in the second half and as I said, amateurish. Also, the movie gets a lot worse in the second part as it goes down, it drags her along with it, in a way. You also get the feeling that Barbara sometimes relies too much on her star presense instead of actually acting. But Barbara still does a very good job in the 2nd part and she does get better towards the end, rising above the mediocre script, especially in the scene when she confronts Nick after two years being apart. And of course, her "My Man" is a brilliant scene, acted and sung perfectly by her. It's a hard performance to rate, but in the end Barbara does an outstanding job and is able to rise above her material and come out triumphant.

14 comments:

Sage Slowdive said...

I think she might triumph in the end...

Louis Morgan said...

I think she might be third or fourth due to your remarks about her acting being amateurish at times.

joe burns said...

We'll see.......

hey deanie said...

Totally agree with everything, especially the bit about the second half which was almost unbearably dreary haha. Great job :-) I'm thinking she might rank near the bottom.

joe burns said...

Thanks! Again, we'll see how it goes........

dinasztie said...

There are times when I would pick her over Kate Hepburn. I was overblown by Streisand. I'm not a fan of hers, but I like her works and this is her best and probably What's Up Doc?.

joe burns said...

Wow, really? That's a surprise, though I loved her too! Haven't seen What's Up Doc? though.

Fritz said...

I am always torn because Babs is so epic in this but sometimes too inexperienced. Incredibly voice, though!

Malcolm said...

I don't know what to say. Your complaints are understandable, but it makes a very strange case for me of the "perfect imperfect performance".

She's not perfect, but her imperfections suit that part. Oh, well.

joe burns said...

Fritz: Yes, her voice is certainly great!


Malcolm: It's just that her acting becomes too obvious in the second half and I wish she would have tried to act more dramatically then relying on star power. But she was overall, excellent.

Burning Reels said...

Still never seen this - Streisand has never done much for me but then this is her signature role so i'm guessing I could be swayed?

Is it purely an acting piece or a great film overall too?

Dempsey Sanders said...

I love her voice but her acting can be sloppy at times. Its been a while since I saw the movie but it never really did grab my attention.
I really like Vanessa Redgrave.

joe burns said...

Burning Reels: It's just a vechicle for her, the rest of the movie isn't great, though it's well made to an extent. I'm glad you're commenting again!

Dempsey Sanders: She certainly does act sloppy sometimes, and we'll see how it goes in my ranking soon!

Burning Reels said...

Okie doke, i'm sure i'll catch it one day:)

Yep, i've not been on the 'net too much lately. If you or anyone has thoughts about the films of 1975, then have a look at my recent post.