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miliosr

Feud (New Joan Crawford/Bette Davis Mini-Series)

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Full of possibilities!

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I saw the trailer for this and I have middling hopes. (All too often these made-for-cable movies take a great idea and then don’t do much with it.) There’s also a sterling supporting cast:

 

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Also in the cast are Alfred Molina, Stanley Tucci, Judy Davis and Dominic Burgess.

 

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Molina will play the film’s director Robert Aldrich, Tucci will portray studio titan Jack Warner, Davis will play gossip columnist Hedda Hopper and Dominic Burgess will be Crawford and Davis’ co-star Victor Buono.

 

I would have preferred to see J. Davis in either one of the leads.

 

Lange, I’m sorry to say, has become a Horrible Example of celebrity plastic surgery gone wrong. She's starting to look like Doris Duke.

 

I’m not sure who FX thinks will be the audience for this, but I thank the network for keeping us in mind. :)

 

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Oh, I haven't see Judy Davis in quite a while.

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I think Judy Davis would be better suited to Bette Davis.

 

But, the casting I'm most puzzled over is Catherine Zeta-Jones as Olivia de Havilland. 

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Early review is positive and suggests that this will be something more than a campfest:

 

http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/film-tv/news/a20667/feud-bette-davis-joan-crawford-review-spoilers/

 

And photos of the entire cast:

 

http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/film-tv/news/g8508/feud-bette-and-joan-images/

 

Lang looks much more like late-period Crawford here but Sarandon still reminds me more of Tallulah Bankhead than Bette Davis. Can't wait for Judy Davis as Hedda Hopper!

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)Should be loads of fun. Dominic Burgess looks well cast as Victor Buono. But Jessica Lange looks like Elizabeth Bishop.

 

Side Bar: Great Hedda Hopper film here – and amazing documentary about Hollywood in transition, 1960. A performance piece in parts (HH, and Bob Hope without laugh track); the real tinsel under the tinsel in others (Gary Cooper, the Ben Hurs at the Brown Derby, Marion Davies, Janet Gaynor).

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhLix9qnSR0

Edited by Quiggin

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That's a great find, Quiggin, especially Francis X. Bushman at the Brown Derby.

 

(This seems to be a Hedda moment - Helen Mirren played her in the recent Dalton Trumbo biopic. She was a nasty piece of work.)

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But, the casting I'm most puzzled over is Catherine Zeta-Jones as Olivia de Havilland. 

 

 

I agree, ABT Fan. :unsure:

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I will watch it simply to see Stanley Tucci on the screen again. I adored everything about his acting. Such a great loss to the community and we viewers.

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47 minutes ago, vagansmom said:

I will watch it simply to see Stanley Tucci on the screen again. I adored everything about his acting. Such a great loss to the community and we viewers.

 

vagansmom, what is this loss you're referencing? I thought something had happened to Tucci but I see nothing posted online about him.

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Oh my goodness, you are right! All I remember is feeling just awful about him a few years ago. I just checked: it was when he had sadly lost his wife to cancer; I found it so heartbreaking. So many actors passed away in recent years I mixed it up: a sign of my aging. I can't keep up with how many actors I've loved that have lost their lives in recent years. Heavy losses in both public and private life: the reality of being a senior citizen. 

 

I am very thankful that Tucci is thriving.

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Loved it, loved it, loved it.

 

There were numerous wonderful scenes. Probably my favorite was Crawford (Lange) in her bedroom in the Brentwood house railing against Davis for perceived slights from the past. Second favorite was Crawford and Davis (Sarandon) watching the first dailies from Baby Jane and being horrified at what they saw. Third place goes to the big reveal of Davis/Sarandon in the Baby Jane fright make-up.

 

The producers and writers really did their homework on this because there were numerous period details that were 100% accurate. For instance, the references to how Crawford and Davis had fought over "Franchot" during the 1930s -- Franchot being Franchot Tone who Davis wanted to marry and Crawford did marry. And how Crawford was the face of Pepsi-Cola during the late-50s and early-60s. And when the crew member tells Crawford that, "they could film her from any angle" -- those were the exact words George Cukor said of Crawford after she died.

 

Kathy Bates was hilarious as Joan Blondell and Judy Davis stole every scene she was in as Hedda Hopper.

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I saw and enjoyed both episodes. Looking forward to seeing more of Dominic Burgess’ Victor Buono. Also Alison Wright of the eloquent eyebrows.

 

While I’m always happy to see Kathy Bates gainfully employed, the “testimony” of Blondell and de Havilland seems unnecessary, underling points that have already been made, and none too subtly (“Feuds aren’t about anger. Feuds are about pain,” Zeta-Jones informs us earnestly). We don’t need them to tell us that Davis and Crawford were manipulated by their male Hollywood bosses or that the rivalry among women which arises because of their inferior power position prevents them from teaming up for their collective benefit, because we just saw these things graphically depicted.

 

The first episode was laden with some awkward exposition – maybe Ryan Murphy and company were a little too eager to show off their homework. On the other hand, old movies and their stars are not as ubiquitous on the tube as they used to be;  they can’t assume that viewers just dropping by or tuning in out of curiosity will know who these people are.

 

Overall, however, I’m enjoying it, and I love details like Crawford reclining seductively on a slipcovered bedspread and her Teutonic “Mamacita.” Lange doesn’t really evoke Crawford for me and her performance is familiar if you’ve seen some of her other TV work, but she’s fine, although not convincingly younger in the flashback sequences. Sarandon does better – the poppy eyes help – even if she can’t quite spit out “What a dump!” with the authority of Davis (or Hagen, or even Elizabeth Taylor). I have the feeling the originals would have had both of them for breakfast.

 

I also wonder a bit about the series subtitle. It is true that goddesses don’t have last names, but perhaps there’s a bit of unconscious condescension – what’s wrong with “Feud: Davis and Crawford”? Just a thought.

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