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Mommie Dearest Review


Very Good
Horror's got nothing on Faye Dunaway's harrowing portrayal of Joan Crawford -- a woman who will not be remembered as the Oscar-winning star of Mildred Pierce and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, but more likely as the subject of Mommie Dearest, a scathing biography based on a tell-all "novel" penned by Crawford's adopted daughter Christina.

While it's justly criticized for trivializing child abuse, Mommie Dearest paints a unique picture of the kind of criminal behavior movie stars and other celebrities are allowed to get away with. (O.J. anyone?) The horrific picture of consistant, repeated abuse and down-right craziness is enough to make you think your family is downright normal. Of course, my mother always alluded to "wire hangers" when I was growing up... wonder what that means.

Continue reading: Mommie Dearest Review

The Swimmer Review


Excellent
Great voyages often make great movies, and Burt Lancaster's "swimming home" from house to house across a ritzy Connecticut county in an attempt to figure out his life, is one of them. At first he seems completely content, visiting friends across the valley from his house, but as his backyard-pool trip continues, a darker story emerges, as he encounters people from his past (all of whom seem to be spending the day out by the pool). From romantic affairs to strange business dealings to a world of debt to general neurotic behavior, Lancaster's Ned Merrill is a tragic hero for the '60s, and it's one of Lancaster's most searing performances. Frank Perry's direction is dated (though Sydney Pollack may have done uncredited work on it), but that oddly makes the film even more memorable.

Mommie Dearest Review


Very Good
Horror's got nothing on Faye Dunaway's harrowing portrayal of Joan Crawford -- a woman who will not be remembered as the Oscar-winning star of Mildred Pierce and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, but more likely as the subject of Mommie Dearest, a scathing biography based on a tell-all "novel" penned by Crawford's adopted daughter Christina.

While it's justly criticized for trivializing child abuse, Mommie Dearest paints a unique picture of the kind of criminal behavior movie stars and other celebrities are allowed to get away with. (O.J. anyone?) The horrific picture of consistant, repeated abuse and down-right craziness is enough to make you think your family is downright normal. Of course, my mother always alluded to "wire hangers" when I was growing up... wonder what that means.

Continue reading: Mommie Dearest Review

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