Saturday, February 18, 2006
Friday, April 08, 2005
Boston Phoenix, March 24, 1981
“…. The movie is as erotic as it is not because of the flesh shown or the orgasms displayed, but because of the unerring awareness that two disconsolate people have found a happiness that transcends their traps and their own limits, and makes the act of murder seem unavoidable. Indeed, the central imperative has the effect of turning the Greek husband, Nick 9John Colicos), into a stooge overlooked in the awarding of motive.
“Cora is so much less voluptuous than Lana Turner in the earlier film, and so much more humane. Perhaps Jessia Lange is still one touch too thoroughbred. There doesn't seem quite enough reason for her to be sequestered in a back-road diner. Cain used her as something like narrative bait, and the movies are still far from the abandonment of a class system of glamour when looking at women. But the actress gives Cora an untidy, pressing inarticulacy that is dispelled whenever she can make love.
“Rafelson and Lange--and the deepening respect that the music and Nicholson's Frank bestow on her--have produced a movie about a woman's sexual desire that has no trace of male paranoia or hostility. Voyeurism gives way to intimacy and abandon. With the dropping of Cain's first-person narrative, the observing presence of the film makes Cora the most sentient creature: a core of passion canceling out the sleaziness of the melodrama….”
Film Comment, date ?
Get whole review!
“In the early 1980s, it was easy to make a case for Jessica Lnage as the most exciting and dangerous young actress in America. (Debra Winger was her closest rival, which may be a way of seeing how harsh America is on threatening young women.) In one year, Lange won the best supporting actress Oscar for Tootsie… and a best actress nomination for Frances… Moreover, having had a child by Mikhail Baryshnikov, Lange was in the process of winning away Sam Shepard from wife and family note he doesn't admire greatly Tootsie or Frances]. There was such ability and authority, yet still she had the wild-eyed, untidy manner of a young hitchhiker in Arkansas or Oklahoma. It was possible to believe in her unusual upbringing: intense devotion to the northern Midwest; time in Paris as a musician and dancer, before modeling in New York, and then the stunning aplomb that pulled off King Kong (76, John Guillermin) and supplied the comedy of that unfairly berated remake.
“…. Her breakthrough had come as a Cora worthy of James M. Cain in The Postman Always Rings Twice… , where she easily handled the neediness, the spite, and the lunging desperation of a woman who deserved more than roadside kitchens. This is still, arguably, her most complete and disturbing performance….”
A Biographical Dictionary of Film
Third Edition (1994), p 420
New York, March 30, 1981
The New Yorker, April 6, 1981
Taking It All In, p 180
“Unfortunately, Rafelson, Mamet, Nicholson, Lange, and Company have made the sex so good that it overwhelms Cain's very skimpy melodramatic plot. Almost everything in this new production is utlimately stretched out of shape because of the tendency to allow the detail to overwhlem the design….”
Village Voice, March 25-31, 1981
[last part out of context?]
“If that was their intention, they haven't pulled it off….
“…. [Nicholson's] too innately sly an actor to be playing a victim of passion. Jessica Lange, however, shows that she might turn into an actress of some range. Her pale, thin-lipped beauty catches glimpses of the haunted, hungry Midwestern girl Cain had in mind, though her part is underdeveloped….”
Newsweek, March 23, 1981
“Jessica Lange is physically present on screen in a way that few movie actresses have ever been--Anna Magnani and Sophia Loren and, perhaps in a different way, Marilyn Monroe. In The Postman Always Rings Twice she anchors the character of Cora directly in her body: we can feel the suppressed rage and desire in her muscular neck and shoulders, and in the powerful curve of her back. One look at her and you know that this woman is no pushover. And from the way she cocks her head and narrows her eyes at Frank it's clear that there's not much in life that she hasn't seen before, particularly when it comes to men. In Postman, Lange makes no attempt to hold herself in physically, and her solidity on the screen is a kind of a challenge. It says, "Go ahead. Try to knock me over. Give it your best shot."….
“In Frances, Lange isn't as boldly sexual as she was in Postman, but she gives the character a primal vitality that is sexual in a more subtle way….”
Boston Phoenix, October 2, 1984
[left out little gen comments after Frances]
The New Republic, April 11, 1981