Saturday, March 10, 2018

a perfectly made film

Friday, Mar. 9, 11:28 pm

I’m befuddled about why I missed Jane Campion’s “Portrait of a Lady” when it was first released, 1996. I can recall that the year was somewhat chaotic for me. But I loved “The Piano” (1993).

Anyway, I saw the film tonight (streamed it). I was mesmerized: Campion’s use of light, the editing, the camera, the acting! Nicole Kidman wasn’t nominated for Best Actress? Her mastery of showing that a woman may be nearly always thinking more and differently from what she says is stunningly done. Getting beyond the breathtaking prettiness of Ms. Kidman (amplified so well by Campion’s use of light)—beyond those eyes—Ms. Kidman is simply beautiful as a character of intense intelligence lost in La Belle Époque. (And only John Malkovich can be so suavely evil. He’s brilliantly hateful.)