07 November 2012

The three faces of Barbara

Barbara Stanwyck is one of my favorite actresses. The Lady Eve is one of my favorite movies. I always marvel at Stanwyck's performance in that film. I marvel at how Preston Sturges was able to write such a character, but the way that Stanwyck brings her to life always astounds me. The film gives us a woman who is by turns romantic, canny, and imperious. Stanwyck blends all of it into one personality seamlessly, but with a careful change of masks that truly befits her character. The performance is never less than rich and insightful. She does so with a maximum amount of comedy as well which only helps make Eve all the more compelling. Stanwyck has never commanded my respect and devotion more fully than in this film. For her and for Sturges, it is a true masterpiece.

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