‘Glass’ Act: Continuing the Glass Menagerie Film Survey (for Parterre Box)

hepburn-720

Cameron Kelsall: A mutual friend of ours loves to imitate Katharine Hepburnfrom a television commercial he remembers for this adaptation. “It’s a wun-dah-fuhl play about a family,” he intones in his most palsied voice. “I play the muh-thuh!” It never fails to make me laugh, and in many ways, it captures the less successful elements of Hepburn’s Amanda Wingfield. But the overall production, including her performance, also offers more to appreciate than I remembered.

David Fox: I know exactly what (and who) you mean! Everything about this project has that “Miss Katharine Hepburn” sense of sanctity about it, including the way it’s filmed, regularly positioning her centrally in two-shots for scenes where the real focus should be the other actor. That said, she’s better than I remembered, including making a reasonable attempt at a Southern accent. And, of course, there is distinctive star quality to burn, as well as interpretive intelligence. This comes within a year of one of Hepburn’s most effective late-career film performances, as Agnes in A Delicate Balance, where she’s often superb. But in TGM, too, she seems like New England gentry. That’s perfect for Albee but all wrong here. And cruel as it is to point out, her tremulousness is a constant distraction. The moment where she says to Laura, “You just have a little defect, hardly noticeable, even!” while shaking like a desiccated branch in a 12-point earthquake registers as the darkest kind of camp…

Read the full post at Parterre Box.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow me on Twitter

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 106 other followers

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 106 other followers

%d bloggers like this: