29 July 2014 | a.lampert
Jessica Lange - an actress at the top of her game
I watched Frances because I seemed to remember that Kevin Costner had a tiny part at the start of his career and I'm a big fan. I didn't expect necessarily to see anything startling other than what it said on the tin, a film about the real life movie star from the 40's, Frances Farmer, as played by Jessica Lange. I've always admired Jessica Lange as a really good actress but she's never blown me away like some stars do. At least, not until now. Now watching this 1982 movie in 2014 (a bit late, I know), she's completely reversed my previous thoughts about her. Her performance in this picture has to be one of the most dynamic, hypnotic acting stints I've ever seen by an actress. It reminded me a bit of Faye Dunaway in Network (where she won the Oscar). Looking this movie up I saw that Jessica was beaten in 1982 by Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice, but if ever an actress was robbed of the Oscar, this performance was it. I'd urge anyone who loves acting at the highest level to watch this movie, just for Jessica Lange's performance, although there is also a very strong backup show by Kim Stanley as her mother. Very long at two and half hours, but I couldn't take my eyes off Jessica Lange's face. It's hard to detect between when she's being charming and when she might suddenly explode. Mesmerizing.