Saturday, February 26, 2005
Million Dollar Darling
I saw "Being Julia" this afternoon, cramming for the Oscars tomorrow night, and Annette Bening is beyond brilliant in this film. I am a film junkie to the nth degree, and I have to say that rarely does a single performance do so much in such an entertaining, grand and at times quiet and stunning way.
OK, I'll admit it: I'm a sucker for a great broad. And, a great broad is what Annette Bening truly is.
She more than carries this film. At times, she smacks it around, benchpresses it and commands it like an empress. This is superb acting in capital letters from an actor that is often not given her due as one of the best working today.
As a portrait of an often needy yet talented extrovert, "Being Julia" is telling in how it lets us inside to see the mechanics of vanity and how the urge to perform can often cripple true emotion.
The film closes with a triumphant revenge scenario - imagine what Margot Channing would have done if she hadn't let Eve Harrington "get away with it."
But, back to Annette. This isn't stunt acting (see: actors who gain weight, use facial prosthetics, etc.) or blunt impersonation (see: "Ray", "The Aviator", etc.). This is a performance that is lived, felt and thought about in great detail. This is a performance that barrels from the screen with a light and life that most actors can only dream of being able to project.
So before Hilary Swank enters the airy and rareified realm of multiple lead-category Oscar winners (hey, even Meryl-fucking-Streep doesn't own two Best Actress Oscars), let us pay tribute to this year's real winner.