It's always amazed me that this movie doesn't get more respect--sure it's campy, but the performances are fantastic: Christopher Plummer's speech to Daisy by the pool after she's been abandoned by her new husband (a super young Robert Redford playing a gorgeous pansexual for God's sake--what more could a person ask?) is stunning and Natalie Wood's "The Circus is a wacky world"-induced breakdown in the sound booth is brilliant and scary. Roddy McDowell's killing smile as he says "Good night, Miss Clover." Redford getting away with lines like "Good night, sweet, sad, lonely lady" and a drunken Malora (great name) screaming at Daisy "They say I've got a headache, BUT I'VE GOT A HEARTACHE!!!" The gorgeous black and white promotional video of Daisy singing and bouncing her way through the cardboard galaxies. All incredible stuff--why isn't this on DVD yet? Wake up, Hollywood, and give us this treasure on DVD!
The movie Play It as It Lays is, admittedly, not everyone's cup of tea. Even the book--as much as I liked it--was a hard sell to friends and family; most, especially those living outside the Southern California forcefield, simply could not grasp the essential Los Angeles flavor of Didion's dry economical language. The language of the Industry is spot-on (for a change) as are the depictions of the unusual alliances and estrangements of the characters in the film. One person I know who hated the film complained that it was too "faggy" and not like the real Hollywood at all (this person lives in Tucson); the B.Z. and Maria relationship at the heart of this movie may seem bizarre and pointless to auslanders, but it certainly reminded me of real life in LA circa 1972. Also of note is Tammy Grimes' performance as B.Z.'s wife--she got so many of the good lines ("Oh God my face--I can really see a difference"; "in what?"; "skipping my Lazslo for one day.") This movie should be available in VHS/DVD; does anyone know why it's been ignored? I'd love to know.