this is pretty interesting. in this article brantley tries to dissect why of the 3 female performances of classic plays only 1 received unanimous praise. he examines “Fitting the Part”, “Vanity” (i.e. physicality), “Clothing”, “Playing Well With Others” (i.e. co-stars), “Direction”, and “Continuity”. his points are interesting on several levels. first, only 2, maybe 3 of the 6 areas he examines are ones that the actor has control over. although one can imagine an actress transcending a terrible production, it’s of course extremely difficult to do so, as theater really is an immersive, symphonic art and everything suffers if even a significant minority of it is out of place. second, i find it interesting, and it has been debated many times over, that brantley assumes that actors are limited in the roles they should tackle. this goes back to my post a while back about actors who are truly chameleons and can easily slip into a wide-range of characters, and those who are not. in theory, in theater we can accept actors who don’t fit the characters physically in ways that are less believable on film, and in theory a superlative actor can make himself look older or younger or whatever. so in other words, i completely disagree that brantley’s assessment puts the only true judgement of the -acting- at the -end- of his list. yet another reason for me to dislike his opinions.

in other news:
a muppets version of the wizard of oz??

in his overall very positive review of the new star wars movie, a.o. scott throws in a great quote:

    To be sure, some of the shortcomings of “Phantom Menace” (1999) and “Attack of the Clones” (2002) are still in evidence, and Mr. Lucas’s indifference to two fairly important aspects of moviemaking – acting and writing – is remarkable.


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