Thursday, June 18, 2009
rain/tears: powerful concoction
even though the tennessee williams play 'sweet bird of youth' takes place in a sunny locale, i am sitting here overwhelmed by the magnitude of actress geraldine page while it is pouring buckets of rain outside, hence my title. i have been delaying writing about her performance opposite paul newman's in 1962's 'sweet bird of youth' since i began this film lovin' blog. now i am ready.
sometime in the early '80's i was sitting in a hotel cafe in hampstead, london. one of our group left the table to keep a date with a family friend at another table. when he rejoined us he informed our unknowing minds that the woman he just spent a little time with was the actress geraldine page. at the time her name only rang a faint bell. alas, if i could turn back time....
years and many films later i have come to join the multitudes who place her above the rest, right up there with kim stanley. both these incredible actresses graced many more stages than film sets but i only know their work in movies.
watching geraldine toy with the ambitious beauty played by paul newman is amazing. the power of one human being over another is frightening, yet that power is only at play if one of the parties places all their dreams and desires in the hands of another. newman is great as 'chance', a guy still in love with his sweetheart 'heavenly' (so tennessee!) played by another pal fave shirley knight. however, it is with geraldine that his hopes for success lie. lie indeed, as all she wants from him is in bed.
as an aging actress fearing for her future, she drinks, teases, smokes pot, and deceives. she is a magnificent jewel in newman's world where all his fantasies grow cheaper by the day. this film has all it takes to bring me joy: great performers speaking dialogue written by tennessee.