Fellow Movie Lovers
THE LOSS OF THE TEARDROP DIAMOND
One could never doubt the prolific and prodigious talents of Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) and this lesser known work exemplifies the breath taking depth of his skill.
He used as fodder for most of his works the dysfunctional family he was straddled with: alcoholism and madness were prime elements and he magically raises these detriments to the highest artistic levels.
Inspired by the schizophrenia of his beautiful sister Rose, his female characters are touched with fragile minds and spirits. Key examples, Blanch in Streetcar Named Desire and Laura in The Glass Menagerie. They are not grounded or rooted in the real world and view it through intelligent but fantasy laden eyes; their only coping mechanism, the imagination.
The Loss of the Teardrop Diamond which was the third but unrealized collaboration with Elia Kazan (1909-2003, A Streetcar Named Desire and Baby Doll) is the Diamond in the trilogy. We owe a tremendous debt to actor turned director Jodie Markell for conceiving and creating this deliciously fabulous film. Every member of the cast is superlative in their characterizations of life in Tennessee, in the early 1920’s.
Brice Dallas Howard (daughter of Ron Howard) is resplendent as Fisher Willow the sophisticated, educated heiress, trying desperately to reenter a world she shuns and is not suited for. She has to prove that the “sins of the father” are not inherited. William’s Fisher Willow is a provocative blend of Scarlett O ’Hera (Gone with the Wind) and Maggie (Cat on a hot Tin Roof) Howard is hypnotic in every scene. Fisher is a woman for all seasons: brilliant, opinionated, kind and lacking in all pretentions. She was a twenty-first century woman thrust into a milieu of early twentieth century elite superficiality: debutants, garden parties and the universal quest for a husband.
Fisher needs an escort and focuses on Jimmy Dobyne (Chris Evans, simmers as the poor but proud object of her affections); grandson of a governor who refuses to be intimidated or compromise his values because of his lack of wealth. He is a shining example of the strongest steel experiencing the hottest fire. Fisher is the quintessential flame!
The minor roles are majorly played by Ann-Margaret as Fisher’s Aunt Cornelia; she has made the aging process an art form; she exudes strength and believability in her limited screen presence. Mamie Gummer (Meryl Streep’s daughter) as Fisher’s only friend, Julie is dazzling and the resemblance to her mother, uncanny. But worthy of an Academy Award nomination is Ellen Bursten as Miss Addie, the paralyzed but prophetic catalyst for Fisher’s epiphany. This is a gifted and memorable performance.
Tennessee Williams deserves the ultimate credit for the conception of this work of art but Jodie Markell wins the trophy for the realization of this……..
FOUR STAR MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!