14 June 2000 | tambareen
Extraordinarily sensitive and insightful acting of even better then virtuoso quality
I own this film and have watched it perhaps a dozen times. While it's a bit depressing I am totally captured and inspired by Maggie Smiths astonishingly deep portrayal of Judith Hearne. I'm sure I'll watch it another dozen times or more. What's SO compelling is the scope of the private look we're afforded into this beautifully drawn character. There are lots of glimpses of her alone, interacting with just her thoughts or with cherished photographs or with herself in the mirror.
This peek behind the private door is touching to the extreme. Its a pity this film is not better known because of all the films I know it most plainly shouts about what the ART of acting is all about. One sees FAR more deeply into the soul of a character by WATCHING the non verbal facial expressions. This face language cant possibly be done in a novel without ludicrous verbosity. Smith is an utter master at this subtle yet profound art of letting a thought show in the face. It's these deeply human feelings that all of us exude (when we KNOW no one can see us) that make this character so universal.
I actually think this virtuoso performance is better even then Her Jean Brodie.
All the other characters are very well delineated and extremely well played. Bob Hoskins also gives an extremely good performance
If you LOVE great ACTING where subtle deep profound feelings show clearly in an expressive face..this is the very best I've seen to date.