Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Pain in the Actress.
She has exactly four scenes, roughly twenty minutes of screen time, in a film filled with far more interesting characters in every sequence, and still Eleanor Parker managed to get an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her role in "Detective Story".
The nomination itself is not the surprise (even if this means the Academy thought she was worthy of being in a lineup that included Katharine Hepburn for "The African Queen" and Vivien Leigh for "A Streetcar Named Desire"), the thing that bothers me is that the element that made her performance different from the rest is that her character has a secret, something that for the era was terrible, but nowadays is instantly obsolete (just take a look at how easily the Academy went and nominated "Juno" this year).
Of course all this has a lot to do with changes in society, but the one constant is that the Academy simply loves subjugated women; the more their character suffers, the better the performance.
Why do you think that pain (even when it's only referred to in the film) is associated with good acting?