Monday, March 27, 2017
Last Night, On "Feud--Bette And Joan," It Was The Robert Aldrich- Pauline Jameson Show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
True to the series' now established structural pattern, two players stepped into the spotlight, in last evening's episode of "Feud--Bette and Joan." They were Alfred Molina, already giving a splendid characterization of Robert Aldrich, but digging deeper into his troubled character, and Pauline Jameson, brilliantly played by Alison Wright, who was Aldrich's production assistant on "What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?"
Now, just who is this woman? Did she even exist? Or is she just written in to cue in the feminist agenda about lack of opportunity for women in the film industry, back then--and some would say, today? MERYL STREEP, aside.
Pauline has aspirations of writing and directing. She has concocted a screenplay, something called "The Black Slipper," for Joan Crawford. And she wants to direct it. This girl does have ambition, but, in this time period, is she kidding? Plus, as Jessica Lange's Joan tells her, harshly, but truthfully, she is "a nobody."
But Alison Wright hits all the marks in her Pauline portrayal, scoring on all the points the writers wanted to make.
Each character has their own tete a tete. Wright's Pauline is with Lange's Joan; Molina's Aldrich is with Stanley Tucci's Jack Warner.
Though Robert Aldrich's resume is impressive, like Pauline, he saw himself as something more than what he was. As astute as Joan, Warner realizes Aldrich's limitations. But Frank Sinatra, in "4 For Texas?" What a comedown for Aldrich, and Sinatra, who after all, was Oscared for "From Here To Eternity," back in 1953.
When Aldrich asked Warner, point blankly, if he was destined for greatness, and Warner said, bluntly, "No!," it was heartbreaking to watch; almost anyone in the arts would get the poignancy of this moment. But what neither realized was greatness sometimes has a way of writing itself, and the longevity of 'Baby Jane' proves Aldrich's stature was more than was thought, even if he did not realize that this would be the masterpiece he would always be remembered for. And still is.
Who the hell was the actual production assistant on 'Baby Jane?' Does anybody care? Not really, though Molina and Wright made viewers care about these two lesser characters; one rather minor.
I will end on a footnote, darlings. Robert Aldrich thought he was going nowhere. On this picture, he had a man working for him as a "dialogue supervisor." He turned out to be a Robert, who did go somewhere.
His last name was..........Altman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!