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.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Postcards from the edge

Another visit to La La Land with a return to 1990's POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE, Mike Nichol's satisfying comedy drama from Carrie Fisher's book, all the more poignant now after her recent passing and that of her mother Debbie Reynolds. Shirley McLaine - never a favourite of ours - does maybe her best work here, outside of THE APARTMENT, as Suzanne Vale's movie star mother, who drinks a lot and can't help upstaging her daughter.

Substance-addicted Hollywood actress Suzanne Vale is on the skids. After a spell at a detox centre her film company insists as a condition of continuing to employ her that she live with her mother Doris Mann, herself once a star and now a champion drinker. Such a set-up is bad news for Suzanne who has struggled for years to get out of her mother's shadow, and who finds her mother still treats her like a child. Despite these problems - and further ones to do with the men in in her life - Suzanne can begin to see the funny side of her situation, and it also starts to occur to her that not only do daughters have mothers, mothers do too.
Meryl Streep has one of her best early roles here as the drug-addled actress Suzanne tries to get her life back on track, and Mike Nichols fills the film with a great cast: not only Dennis Quaid, but Simon Callow, Richard Dreyfuss, Gene Hackman, Annette Bening and even the great Mary Wickes (from 40s and 50s classics like NOW VOYAGER and WHITE CHRISTMAS, she also went on to SISTER ACT). 
But the film boils down to those encounters between Meryl and Shirley, and both shine, Shirley in her hospital scene getting ready to face her public - the gays love her - and belting out a version of Sondheim's "I'm Still Here". Meryl too sings up a storm in that final country music scene. 
It all certainly works now and is a film to savour for many fine moments.
Maybe its time for another look at Carrie's THESE OLD BROADS telemovie with not only Debbie and Shirley but Dames Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Collins - which we covered before. see Debbie label.

1 comment:

  1. I actually think POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE is one of the best movies on the movies ever made and one of the best things Mike Nichols ever did. Meryl is astonishing and I chose Shirley for my best supporting actress that year.