Best Actress Birthday Party, Week 4
As backloaded as the the current week is, with Patricia Neal and Geena Davis coming up on the 20th and 21st, next week is even more front-loaded, with these two gals blowing out candles right away on the 22nd. I'm happy to cull your suggestions a bit early, and don't be surprised if one of these gals has to wait a day or two for her party. Consider it like President's Day Observed.
Born January 22January 28:
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Jan 22: Piper Laurie (80)
New Review: Tim (1979)
Piper's Best Work: I haven't seen her tough customer in The Hustler or her demented disciple in Carrie in so long that I can't really pick between them.
I've Also Seen: Disconcerting in ways Lee Remick could barely touch in the live-TV Days of Wine and Roses; goading Jeremy Brett to action and commanding the stage in a direct-to-video staging of Macbeth; intimidated by her child's deafness and by the grown daughter's anger in Children of a Lesser God; in an ensemble of actor's actors as David Morse's mother in The Crossing Guard; bullying Toni Collette and unconcerned about self-parody in The Dead Girl
Where To Go Next: If we're insisting on a theatrical release, then I'm guessing the Capote adaptation The Grass Harp, with Sissy Spacek, Walter Matthau, and Nell Carter. If TV movies count, I'm all about Piper as Magda Goebbels, with Anthony Hopkins as Hitler, in The Bunker. She was Emmy-nominated for that, and I'm betting she did it up real big. But if any medium will do, the answer is obviously Twin Peaks. I lived in Germany the two years it ran in the U.S., and by the time I moved back, it had come and gone. Never have caught up, but obviously must.
Jan 22: Diane Lane (47)
New Review: Rumble Fish (1983)
Diane's Best Work: Sexy, accessible, and believably conflicted as she juices up the second act of her career in A Walk on the Moon, a movie seen by too few people but savored by all of them.
I've Also Seen: Young, charismatic leader of the whelps in Six Pack; as Paulette Goddard, but not such that I recall her, in Chaplin; maybe a bit bashful as Stella to Jessica Lange's Blanche and Alec Baldwin's Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire; as good at fretful waiting as anyone could be in The Perfect Storm (my review); an appealing interview in Searching for Debra Winger; getting her nod for the commuter-train scene in Unfaithful (my review); a flattering audience surrogate and the centerpiece of light pleasures in Under the Tuscan Sun; stranded by a dumb script and stolid direction in Hollywoodland (my review), though everyone else seemed to like it; chafing, surely, under a new round of typecasting in Nights in Rodanthe
Where To Go Next: The 90s weren't the easiest decade for Diane, but I'm really eager to see Wild Bill, the no-doubt unusual biopic starring Jeff Bridges and Ellen Barkin and directed by Walter Hill. It's sitting right here on my shelf, and if it had been as short as Rumble Fish, I would have selected it.