John Waters' commentary on Mommie Dearest

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Thomas T, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    Picked up today and expected the worst but was pleasantly surprised. Waters doesn't consider it a campy film but a good film (though he acknowledges its flaws) and considers Dunaway's performance Oscar worthy. It's not a terribly interesting commentary unfortunately but those of us who expected a bitchy campy commentary can rest. Waters is a little slippery in his observations, however. Several times, he comments on Steve Forrest as the famous Hollywood attorney Greg Bautzer as her husband when, in fact, he was just her lover.

    The special features include interviews with Diana Scarwid (the adult Christina), Rutanya Alda (Carol Ann) and producer Frank Yablans as well as John Waters and Lypsynka. All of them praise Dunaway's work as well as their mystification at her refusal to talk about the film.
     
  2. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    You know Thomas, our heated debate about the topic of Faye Dunaway's performance in this was on my mind yesterday as I was standing in the store looking at the new dvds. I thought of you and your absolute, unbending love of her performance in this and...I must admit, I bought it. What's more, in some strange way, I bought it for you!

    I haven't watched it yet, but I promise...I will, and I'll keep an open mind!
     
  3. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    I'm blushing, Will. After watching the film, listen to some of the commentary and special features and let me know what you think. Again, I reiterate, the film itself is a failure despite its good intentions and some effective moments. My argument is on behalf of Dunaway's performance, not the film itself.
     
  4. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    What if some of us wanted a bitchy, campy commentary?
     
  5. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    re: "What if some of us wanted a bitchy, campy commentary?"

    Well, then, you're going to be sorely disappointed.
     
  6. Jace_A

    Jace_A Second Unit

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    Waters has never done a bitchy, campy commentary, so I don't know why people were expecting him to provide one for this film. And he's right about Faye: she needs to get over her hostility to this film (references to her refusal to discuss the film appear throughout the documentary on the DVD and in Waters' commentary). It didn't destroy her career. Her terrible choice in roles (Supergirl, The Wicked Woman) and her subseuqnet facelifts did. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw her on the documentary on the Network DVD. She's ruined any chance of a reputable career as an older actress.
     
  7. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    I actually picked up the DVD only for the John Waters commentary. He's always entertaining on his own movies, I couldn't imagine him not being entertaining on this.

    While I wasn't expecting a bitchy, campy commentary, I do hope it's a slightly embarrased and gushy commentary, as Waters usually is in discussing his own films.
     
  8. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    Has the music been restored during the scene where Crawford is cutting down the rose bushes?
     
  9. Arnie G

    Arnie G Supporting Actor

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    At the end of the docs it says Johnny Guitar is available on DVD. Any news about this?
     
  10. Shawn Cornwell

    Shawn Cornwell Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree Dunaway reached a peak as a dramatic actress with her "Dearest" work. If other aspects of the film had been of a higher quality, she might have won the Oscar, or at least been nominated (she was runner-up for the NYFC award, and received many great notices, including a rave review from the often hard-to-please Pauline Kael that most actors would kill for). The problem was she gave a signature performance in a film many consider subpar, as opposed to her work in "Chinatown" or "Network." Few performers have pushed themselves, emotionally speaking, as far on the screen, and Ms. Dunaway should be proud of her work, the film's faults aside.

    I also think Mara Hobel does outstanding work, especially in her big confrontation scenes with Faye; few child performers have portrayed hysteria so effectively onscreen (the "impromptu haircut" scene in particular is a killer).
     

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