Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

A woman called Golda

Ingrid Bergman's final screen outing - the 1982 TV miniseries A WOMAN CALLED GOLDA remains a fascinating view now. Bergman was already ill with the cancer that killed her that year and here with no vanity at all she plays Golda Meir, the Russian-born, Wisconsin-raised woman who rose to become Israel's prime minister in the late 1960s and early 1970s. With a frightful wig and a false nose she is Golda to the life. There is also, curiously enough, a lot of humour in her portrayal. It is actually funny in parts seeing Ingrid as Golda scolding her ministers and rival heads of state as the complex story unravels.
Judy Davis too is of course excellent as the younger Golda (just like she was as Judy Garland...). The supporting cast includes Anne Jackson. Golda was the first female Prime Minister of the state of Israel and we see she is also stubborn, intelligent, and very human. Fascinating to contrast with how Mrs Thatcher is presented in that recent film that won another Oscar for Meryl.  Bergman won an Emmy for her role her,  posthumously. 
In her engaging memoirs Ingrid tells us that in the last scene as she advances towards the camera after telling the associated company that its late and its time to go home, she knew it was her last appearance before the camera, like she knew at the Theatre Royal in London when it was her last night in the theatre, after her last play there (WATERS OF THE MOON) closed. GOLDA along with Ingmar Bergman's AUTUMN SONATA allowed Ingrid to go out on a high, but then there is very litttle dross in her filmography. For those in search of a good mini-series A WOMAN CALLED GOLDA, directed by Alan Gibson, ticks all the boxes.

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