Monday, July 6, 2009

Something Spiteful and Elegant

I just happened home, after a latish evening out (business party - is there any drearier phrase?), to find some odd station showing BUtterfield 8. What a strange, awkward, weirdly moving film.

The picture may all fall apart at the end, but the ten minutes of pantomime that open it should have put to rest once and forever the question of whether its star can act: she is as effective as any of the great silent stars, with an anger and reserve that boils over into the whole first hour.

Watching this performance, I found it bizarre to think that she's still with us. Her buxom, sly brand of lacquered, earthy glamour seems as far removed as the acting of Sarah Siddons; she is a goddess as grande horizontale - or is it vice versa?

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