Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Best Actress 1965: Julie Christie in Darling
Julie Christie received her 1st Oscar nomination and won for playing Diana Scott, a selfish, manipulative young woman who goes from affair to affair until her actions come back to haunt her.
Darling is a rather dull film. Maybe it was deliberate, given it's point is to show the shallowness of the upper-class, but it is simply not too interesting and it's often confusing and random. But it's all held together by Julie Christie who is the only reason to watch the film.
Diana Scott is, as I've said, is a very selfish character. She cares only about herself, and runs from man to man simply for pleasure. But Julie Christie makes her likeable: Christie brings a certain charm and delicious quality to Diana that makes us like her despite the fact she is a total liar. Christie captures the playful, childlike quality of Diana and gives an extremeley subtle, brilliantly executed performance.It's a very low-key, unusual portrayal and it's a testament to her acting ability that Christie simply becomes Diana.No actress could have played Diana,in fact I don't even consider it a role.It's that believable.
Christie uses her face and her presence on screen to show us every layer of Diana. We see how much she loves manipulating people and the pleasure she gets out of men. We also see how much she likes children, and a great scene is when she has just had an abortion and we see how devastated she is. Despite the fact her co-stars are extremeley boring,Christie is able to succeed with them, especially Harvey. My only complaint is the material sometimes drags her down. There are scenes when she randomly gets angry and they don't seem to work, though they're wonderfully acted. Christie gets better and better,developing the character of Diana so well, it's wonderful to watch.The ending of the film is so powerful and well-played by Christie, it's mesmerizing.
Christie's performance starts on a strong note and builds and builds,resulting in a unique, terrific performance that rises above a mediocre film.