Feud: Bette and Joan

..and why not?
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K
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Feud: Bette and Joan

Postby K » 03 Jan 2018, 23:20

I've just finished watching this 8 part drama which is still on iPlayer. Although perhaps a couple of episodes too long it was a remarkable portrayal of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Jessica Lange is great as Crawford but Susan Sarandon is remarkable as Davis.
This show really did peek into their lives from the late 50a onwards, focusing on Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and their subsequent, dwindling careers. It was sad, as not much has changed- there are still many actresses cut off because they are "past their sell by date" but it was compelling.

Anyone else?
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Bumblecorn Cats Nightmare
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Re: Feud: Bette and Joan

Postby Bumblecorn Cats Nightmare » 03 Jan 2018, 23:31

Thoroughly enjoyed it. Sarandon especially I thought was exceptional.

Hell of a supporting cast, too - Judy Davis and Stanley Tucci impressed me almost as much as the two protagonists.

One thing that struck me was that they appeared to tone down Crawford's bitchiness - Lange played a slightly softer version of the woman I'd read about in Mommie Dearest.

LOVED the credit sequence, too (not something you get to say very often these days).
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Re: Feud: Bette and Joan

Postby sneelock » 03 Jan 2018, 23:47

I agree that Sarandon was tops but I think Lange was every bit as good. both managed to humanize the women to a remarkable degree. Both women seem to move beyond impersonations to actually "channeling" something about both actresses.

I think the "Mamasita" character is the real backbone of the thing. some of her dialogue pins down the whole "boy's club" aspect of things. Mamasita thinks that as long as men run things, women are screwed. This angle makes both characters easy to identify with.

I enjoyed it a lot. I was taken aback when I saw an interview with someone (I wish I could remember who) who HATED it for it's portrayal of Aldrich as opportunistic and manipulative. He said he knew him through his work with SAG and that he was a prince of a guy. Still, for the sake of the "women don't belong in the boy's club" angle of the project - I think it works and Molina makes him easy to identify with up to a point.

I thought co-opting the end of "baby jane" into the story was a bit much but hell, why not? they lured you in with the melodrama and tried to give you something a little more complex about how women are held to different standards. VERY entertaining.
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The Modernist
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Re: Feud: Bette and Joan

Postby The Modernist » 04 Jan 2018, 01:32

BCB's Most Tedious Poster wrote:LOVED the credit sequence, too (not something you get to say very often these days).


Very Saul Bass wasn't it?

I, too, really enjoyed this - great performances and a witty, sharp script. Good to see Alfred Molina in a meaty part too, I often think he's been underused over the years.

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Re: Feud: Bette and Joan

Postby K » 04 Jan 2018, 07:14

BCB's Most Tedious Poster wrote:One thing that struck me was that they appeared to tone down Crawford's bitchiness - Lange played a slightly softer version of the woman I'd read about in Mommie Dearest.

I felt sorry for her. It was as if she was manipulated by the expectations of the time and became that nasty character to survive. The parallel being the "buckle" when she had her teeth removed to look right.

Another vote for the titles here, including the music. And I agree with Snee about Mamasita - she verbalised the issues neatly.
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Re: Feud: Bette and Joan

Postby quix » 25 Jan 2018, 22:08

It’s great! Susan Sarandon is perfect for Bette with her boggly eyes, sharp tongue and feisty frontier. Jessica Lange is playing her part brilliantly but I’m not sure how good it is as a portrayal of Joan...