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.