Saturday, June 11, 2011

Best Actress 1984: Vanessa Redgrave in The Bostonians

Vanessa Redgrave received her fourth Oscar nomination for playing Olive Chancellor, an overly controlling woman who is a member of a woman's rights society, and has taken a young woman named Verena Tarant (Madeline Porter), who is an extremely gifted speaker, under her wing, but seems to control her every move, and becomes extremely jealous and angry when Verena and her cousin (Christopher Reeve) begin a relationship.

The Bostonians was a film I found odd and tiresome at first, thought it grew on me, mostly due to Madeline Porter, who should have received an Oscar nomination for her performance. She was fantastic. But the movie is nothing very special, and the same goes for Vanessa Redgrave. I felt she was terrific in Isadora, though the film was a mess, but her role is very limited here and Redgrave just doesn't have a strong enough part. I'm pretty sure her character is supposed to be in love with Verena, and a problem with her performance is that I don't think Redgrave did a strong enough job showing her love for Verena. The love was more obesseive, and I know love is obessive, but it felt to me that it would have been better if Redgrave had portrayed her love for Porter more romanticly instead of obessively. Vanessa does do a good job of showing her anger and fear of losing Verena to her cousin, she plays it with a powrful subtlety that reminds me of Glenn Close in Dangerous Liasons, not nearly as good though. Her scenes with Porter are also good, but Porter steals and overshadows her performance so much that I just didn't care that much about her. That basically sums up my feelings about her, she has some strong moments, but it never takes off and her part is too limited to really become great. She gets


Anonymous said...

I agree, she was good to an extent.

joe burns said...

Glad you agree!