Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The magnificent feud

I've been rewatching Feud: Bette and Joan on Hulu, and it's even more fantastic than I remember from when it first aired on FX in 2017. It isn't available on DVD for some reason, and Amazon charges for it even with Prime, so I haven't seen it since its first run. Highly recommended.
This show should have cleaned up at the Emmys. It received a boatload of nominations, but only won for hair and makeup for a limited series. Susan Sarandon is absolutely magnificent as Bette Davis. You feel like you're watching Bette herself. Jessica Lange does a wonderful job showing how brittle Joan Crawford was behind the tough exterior and how Bette wore her down. Alfred Molina is a wonderfully put-upon Bob Aldrich, attempting the impossible in directing the two divas and somehow succeeding. Stanley Tucci is hilarious as Jack Warner, as is Kathy Bates as Joan Blondell. Kiernan Shipka and Catherine Zeta-Jones were horribly miscast as B.D. Merrill (Bette's daughter, who gave a hilariously bad performance as the teenage neighbor in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?) and Olivia D'Havilland.

Margo the Magnificent:

"I think that Bette Davis would have been burned as a witch if she had lived two or three hundred years ago. She gives the curious feeling of being charged with power which can find no ordinary outlet." (E. Arnot Robertson)

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