I did not know that you were a Deneuve admirer. I saw her most recent film "Potiche" directed by François Ozon based on a play by Barillet and Grédy (who have written "Cactus flower" as well) and where she appears opposite Gérard Depardieu. It is quite a hit and Deneve and Depardieu are wonderful in it. I also love her too, especially her personality and style. As for Redgrave I do consider her as the greatest actress of our times. What I especially love about her is that "absence" of "obvious technique" in her acting and that radiant, glowing humanity she has, which is something that Garbo had as well.
Joseph Losey who directed Vanessa once referred to Glenda Jackson whom he directed in "The Romanctic Englmish woman" and sais something like that. He felt that Glenda Jackson, although post strong and powerful as an actress lacked that capacity of Vanessa to go deep into her parts and explore their utmost depths. He also added that Vanessa was like Garbo in that respect, they both had the capacity to go deep into their characters and explore them. I do not have the exact quote and it is around these lines, I remember reading it in a Joseph Losey biography a long time ago.
To go back to "Camille" I am glad that we all love it, especially Garbo's performance and I think it would be just to praise Cukor's direction as well. True, without Garbo this would not have been the great film it is but Cukor also manages to skilfully accompagny this performance a create quite a convencing visual universe around her. Just to mention a few of the scenes which illustrate this. The opening scene at the carriage, with Marguerite's appearance with the camelias lovingly framing her exquisite face; The scene at the theatre where she mistakes Armand with the Baron de Varville (a scene which was copied at the film "Moulin Rouge" with Nicole Kidman!); the scene where Marguerite starts to cough when she dances and she is cruelly abandonned by everybody except Armand etc.
Agree with everything except what Losey said about Jackson. He knows more than I do, god knows, but she had something which really does go deep too. You see it in the dowd (Julie Christie keeps calling the character that) in 'Return of the Soldier', where despite her plainness, she is the only one who can comfort Alan Bates in shell shock. And you can feel very strongly why he could be comforted only by her; I've rarely been more touched by their first scene together. Similarly, in Ken Russell's version of D.H. Lawrence's 'The Rainbow', there is a scene when she and Chris Gable are at the banquet table after their daughter's wedding. He keeps bothering with his nose while trying to make a proper wedding speech, and at some point says some about 'an angel he knew'. Glenda, sitting at the table, sees him in his obvious irritation while trying to ignore that he's bothered with his own person, and says, uncannily and all of a sudden 'Well, I had an angel went up me nose one time'. Gable gets very tickled, and then there's a look of understanding and love between them that makes it like it's their own wedding again. And who could be more lovable than Chris Gable? He was the perfect 'Boyfriend' with Twiggy. Of course, there's her stereotyped English gruffness, and her range isn't that wide, but whatever Losey may have been dissatisfied in her, it projects to some of us as very moving--not unlike the final scene in 'Les Temps Qui
Changent' when Deneuve smiles at Depardieu upon his awakening (Techine is my favourite director currently working.) And since this came up about warmth, it's true that in that scene and only in recent years that Deneuve has begun to show her own warmth more, and play down her vanity. She was already phenomenal by 'Place Vendome', gambling and cussing like crazy.
But, let's face it, actors all do a lot of trash material. Vanessa will do 'Mission Impossible' and that atrocious thing full of everybody doing cameos starring Nicholson 'The Pledge', just godawful, including Vanessa and Mirren.
Thanks for mentioning the new Deneuve/Depardieu film, i will certainly want to see it; they always have a special relationship onscreen due to their friendship and many films.
I'm way off-topic, but these are related issues about acting and projection;. But I'll get back [size="4"]ON TOPIC[/size]
! The thing that primarily sets Garbo apart from all other actresses is, I believe, an otherworldliness, and she was so comfortable with this that she lived it the rest of her life (in the films, it's perhaps most obvious in 'Grand Hotel' and 'Susan Lennox') Arletty was equally, if not more sophisticated in some ways (and TOO sophisticated in some ways, although I doubt I'd have been above it either
), but is precisely the paragon of the worldly. Marlon Brando adored her and met her, she was very dismissive, and he called her a 'tough article'. She coudn't be fooled with. Equally, with canbelto, I'd have to say I find both Audrey Hepburn and Delphine Seyrig somewhat more to my own taste in feminine beauty (although Garbo in Anna Karenina and 'Queen Christina' esp. is breathtaking) But Quiggin once said that Garbo gave that mysterious persona in a very unique way, and sustained it throughout her life. This doesn't mean I think she's the greatest actress who ever lived, but that her contribution was one of those at the very pinnacle of greatness, because of its singularity (and professionalism.)
I won't say much about about the Kidman 'Moulin Rouge', except copying 'Camille' went unnoticed by me in my total abhorrence of the entire proceedings. btw, that scene in 'Welcome to LA' with G. Chaplin with the 'Garbo Complex' is not a parody of Garbo, but rather of a specifically los angeles sort of neurotic, living a Hollywood-subculture life--it is actually very affectionate to Garbo, and when Keith Carradine first meets crazy Karen Hood (Geraldine's character), she's sitting on the curb in Century City, and immediately starts talking about how she's just seen 'Camille'. She says, in this weirdly defiant way 'I love Greta Garbo', to which, as that mid-70s affluent young person would know to 'Yeah, she's nice when ya by ya-self'. I thought that was very profound a thought about Garbo. This film is mostly forgotten, although I've written extensively about it, it includes a number of the Altman stable of the time and is Alan Rudolph's first film. I had to pay a substantial amount to get it on eBay, although I had seen it at the time of release. It was, at the time, thought to be a kind of sequel to 'Nashville', but not as spectacular, although to me it means much more, and directly caused my several-decades love affair with Los Angeles. It is out of print, though, although may be on DVD by now. Oh yes, there is a final still of Carradine at the end which is also a kind of homage to Garbo, the final shot of 'Queen Christina'. Carradine was stunning at the time (and a hot property for a very brief time in the 70s), and for final close-ups of faces in movies, those are the two best I know.