Thursday, April 7, 2016

Three Beautiful Things 04/06/16: Admiring Leslie Ann Warren, Home Cooking, Anticipating Jane Alexander

1. I finished watching Alan Rudolph's dreamy film noir-ish pastiche of the bedroom farce, Choose Me, this morning and then I found some reviews of the movie written when it was released in 1984. Mainly, I wanted to see if any of the pros who write about movies were as deeply impressed with Leslie Ann Warren's portrayal of Eve. None were. I thought her performance was complex and sublime. She kept reminding me of  how Vivien Leigh brought Blanche DuBois to life in the 1951 movie, A Streetcar Named Desire.  Vivien Leigh's Blanche DuBois was mercurial, moving moment by moment from nostalgic to self-loathing to flirtatious to bitter to insecure and Leslie Ann Warren's Eve was similar. Within moments, as Eve talked on the phone to Dr. Nancy Love or when she tries to figure out the enigmatic Mickey, she is, by turns, within seconds, hopeful, distrusting, doubtful, cynical, sensual, cold, seductive, self-hating, weary, wary, angry, and always lonely, always drifting, unmoored. It's not just that Leslie Ann Warren brought Eve's complexity to life that so deeply impressed me, rather, it was her bringing alive Eve's moment to moment instability, her seamless movements in split seconds from one dimension of her character to another, especially with her eyes, the openness of her face, and her vocal range.

2.  I decided at some point today that I just didn't feel like going out into the world. This is rare. But, I had to fix dinner and, with what we had on hand, I was able to throw together a dinner of black beans and rice, subbing sweet potato for red pepper and balsamic vinegar for red wine. I knew the sweet potato would work, and I was very happy that the balsamic vinegar did, too.

3. While I was looking at movies available to watch on Amazon Prime, I suddenly found All the President's Men.  The other day, I'd read a magazine article presenting an oral history of the movie and I had watched a few clips, but tonight I watched the whole movie again. I love this movie and every time I see it, I eagerly anticipate Bernstein's interview of the bookkeeper, the nameless character played by Jane Alexander. Jane Alexander plays the moral conflict and fear of this character perfectly, as her disgust with what she's witnessed working for the Committee to Re-Elect the President gradually takes over and she slowly and anxiously tells what truth she can.  Every time I watch this movie, I eagerly anticipate Jane Alexander summing up her loathing in this one line:  "If you guys could get John Mitchell, that would be beautiful."

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