Saturday, March 26, 2011

Best Actress 1984: Sissy Spacek in The River

Sissy Spcek received her third Oscar nomination for playing Mae Garvie, a woman who is in financial and marital troubles with her husband Tom Garvey (Mel Gibson) in The River.

The River is a well made, at times beautiful (Imagery-wise) movie, but is very boring, and like Places In The Heart, has little point to it. Some good moments, but a lot of it didn't make sense to me, partly because I spaced out in parts. But anyway, Sissy Spacek plays Mae Garvey, a woman with two children living in a very poor, town in the middle of nowhere. She loves her husband, she takes care of the kids, and is under a lot of stress due to the fact that they might have to sell they're land. And basically, this all of Sissy's performance. Mae is such a one-dimensional, dull role that any actress could have played, and despite the fact that Sissy is well cast, she adds nothing special to this part. But really, no actress could make a great performance out of this part, so I don't really blame her, but she could have tried harder to make it memorable and really work against her clunker of a movie, but unfortunately Sissy never does that. But she does have some moments of beautiful subtlety that help her performance. Her facial expressions are sometimes quite impressive, Sissy did know how to get across certain feelings to the audience . Her best scene is when her husband's enemy is making a move on her, and she pushes him away, saying that they ended up with the spouses they have. She plays it just right, and makes us see that maybe Mae had wanted a better life, and this is probably the only thing Sissy shows in Mae, apart from being a loyal wife to her husband and kids. Which leads me to the fact that she and Mel Gibson have zero chemistry, I never believed that they loved each other, and they''re scenes are mostly boring, just like pretty much all of the movie. But their scene together in a hotel after they haven't seen one another for about a month (due to that he worked on a mine because they can't get any other job) is pretty good, and as I've said, Sissy's face shines with emotion here. but it's ruined by the fact we see nothing much from her, except that she's a loyal housewife. This also ruins a scene where her daughter's
favorite cow has just died, and she, crying, tells them she tried her hardest to save them, but as I've said, it's ruined by the fact that Mae is such a caricature.
Sissy Spacek may have a couple good moments, but mostly she is boring, and un-believable, trapped in a mediocre movie. She gets


Louis Morgan said...

I have not seen this one but it seems she will be fifth. Although I haven't seen this, I do not think Places in the Heart is a pointless film.

joe burns said...

Well, I just don't feel anything came from it, I don't feel there was any message to it. It was okay in parts, but very boring at least to me.

But to each his own!

dinasztie said...

Haven't seen this one.

BTW, do you have a link to Country?

joe burns said...

I"ll look for one!