10 September 2007 | bkoganbing
Sending Tommy Away So Jessica Can Play
In its only nomination in the Oscar sweepstakes for 1994 Jessica Lange won for Best Actress in Blue Sky. After watching Blue Sky I can certainly see why.
Blue Sky is set in the years of the Kennedy Administration and it's plot concerns a dedicated Army Major, Tommy Lee Jones and his family consisting of wife Jessica Lange and daughters Amy Locane and Anna Klump.
Jones is more than an army officer, he's a nuclear scientist and deeply concerned about the collateral effects of radiation on the population. I well remember the time. President Eisenhower in his second term of office made an unilateral executive decision to stop above ground nuclear testing, but the Russians continued. I well remember Premier Khrushchev in a bit of saber rattling, exploded a one hundred megaton hydrogen bomb.
Anyway President Kennedy decided at one point to resume nuclear testing to get the Russians back to the bargaining table for a nuclear test ban treaty. That's the background for this story and we all know that the first thaw in the Cold War was that test ban treaty that was ratified during the summer of 1963.
Anyway Jones is looking to ban it all, writing all kinds of reports that the army isn't taking too seriously and in fact transfers him from California to Alabama where he's told in no uncertain terms by his commander Powers Boothe to cool it. The military wasn't exactly thrilled with what Kennedy was trying to do.
But Jones has some pressing concerns on the domestic front. Jessica Lange is a lusty woman with needs and her husband isn't doing right by her. She looks like Marilyn Monroe and really does have all the army polishing its brass for her. Including Powers Boothe who sends Jones away so they can play.
It all ends in disaster, but Jessica summons up a lot more character than we would have first given her credit for to right the situation. It's in those last scenes that Jessica Lange brought home Oscar.
Young Chris O'Donnell is in the cast as well as Carrie Snodgrass as the son and wife of Boothe and O'Donnell the young man about to go to West Point finds out just what kind of rat his father really is. And Boothe does very well as the rat.
But in the last twenty minutes of the film Jessica's change in character dominates the film and it's reason enough to check out Blue Sky