Monday, March 12, 2012

The Hit of All of Europe and Cannes

Twitter is officially the new place to debut a still from your new movie. Just days after Jerry Bruckheimer tweeted a pic from the set of the upcoming, big-budget blockbuster, The Lone Ranger, Best Actress Oscar winner (but, please don't mention Mommie Dearest), Faye Dunaway, tweeted this picture from the set of her feature film directing debut–the film version of Terrence McNally's play Master Class. She also stars in the film as opera diva, Maria Callas.

You haven't mentioned the Johnny Depp picture. Which I was brilliant in.

The play focuses on the legendary singer as she preformed master classes at Juilliard in the 70s and flashes back to when the opera star was with oil tycoon (and future Jackie O husband), Aristotle Onassis. The play debuted on Broadway in the fall of 1995 and won Tonys for Best Play, Best Actress in a Play (Zoe Caldwell), and Best Featured Actress in a Play (Audra McDonald). Faye did the National Tour of the production in 1996 and bought the film rights over a decade ago. Judging from the looks of that pic, it looks like the movie was filmed back in the 90s as well. 

I had no idea this was even happening. And after seeing the recent Broadway revival this summer with Tyne Daly, I'm not so sure it's necessary. The play is essentially a one-woman monologue as Maria Callas berates 3 students and tells tales of her glory days (complete with outlandish impressions of Onassis!). It's just so theatrical. I don't really see how it would work as a movie. And that picture isn't exactly inspiring confidence in Faye's ability as a director. This is the shot you choose to get people excited about your film? What's even going on? It looks like a staged shot from a community theatre production. 

Faye's been in the news in recent years for starting a feud with Hilary Duff and being evicted from her bug-infested New York apartment, so it's good to see her acting in something of value again. Faye really is a living legend. Even though things haven't been so great for her over the past few years decades, her body of work (Bonnie and Clyde, Chinatown, Network, and, yes, even Mommie Dearest) has already stood the test of time. She's brilliant in them. And if you don't believe me, just have her tell you herself. This is perhaps her greatest performance:

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