Musing on Some Truths and Powerful Acting

I am a fan of the award season in Hollywood, not because I believe in the popularity contests that most are — and I have already addressed my opinions on that in THIS BLOG. (follow link to read if you are interested)

I watch for the drama, the speeches, the drunken behavior on occasion, the self-importance of celebrities, which really cracks me up. I watch most of all for the gowns – as I am a fashionista and love all kinds of fashion. (As one could easily tell from examining my own wardrobe – the more different, the better.)

I don’t give much stock to who wins, since I already have my own favorites and very strong opinions, and they don’t always jive with the whole popularity contest thing.

Yet, every once in a while, a sleeper emerges. A quirky little film hits the big time and gets rewarded, or an actor’s portrayal slays me and also gets rewarded. Then, it is extra satisfying, to say the least.

I remember years ago, The Artist just slayed me. It was small, it was foreign, it was SILENT for goodness sake, and it was artsy. Perfection in my book, yet not the blockbuster type of film that usually wins, nor starring the popular well known actors that usually take the big prizes. And that year, it was well rewarded for the art it was.

This year, a TV show blew me away. (A few movies did too, and they are in the major running for accolades in awards season.)

So far, the Golden Globes – FLUFF awards and they do not count for anything, and the Critics Choice Awards have anointed my new favorite as best. The Critics Choice carries more weight because critics are the people that are supposed to know good movies and good acting – they get paid to critique.

I watch very little TV anymore. My friend convinced me to watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I binged it. And I was blown away.

As far as I am concerned, and I am not a critic, or a member of any of the voting entities, Rachel Brosnahan deserves every award she is getting most recently and all of the love too.

She took on the impossible – playing a  New York Jewish woman of the 50’s and early 60’s DEAD ON and not like the caricature that usually is bestowed to Jewish women. It was impossible, mostly because she is NOT Jewish. (though with her name and looks, it sure seems like it.) It took some acting chops to pull it off.

Yet that wasn’t the reason I slurped up this show and Rachel B’s portrayal. (The costumes! The characters! The elegance of the period details!) The unique plot showing a Joan Rivers type personality in the beginning stages of her career is an interesting one for sure.

The last two episodes, and in particular the last episode of the eight show series (not enough!!) moved me to my bones.

There stood the character Mrs. Maisel, completely conflicted and torn on career and love. You can see her inner torture. It is brilliant acting.

I have stood in Mrs. Maisel’s shoes. When her cheating husband begs her to take him back, you actually understand for a tiny moment why she is willing to forgive him from watching her face, and going through flashbacks with her. I understand all too well, as I was faced with that decision way back when. It is the most complicated love/hate and forgive/forget situation imaginable. You spend years with someone, you have their babies, they mess up, and then it is a matter of which side of the inner conflict and turmoil wins out in your brain as to what happens in the end. It is the most wrenching decision of all. To forgive? To forget? Can one do either in a situation like that?

We are left hanging for the next season to find out what Rachel decides, but I was breathless watching her go through this. It could have been me way back when. It was so realistic. So REAL. Hard to believe it was acting, and not real life happening. The psychological analyst in me has decided that the husband’s ego needed something on the side because his wife so out-illuminates him in talent, personality, and brains. It is a common one, and one I know well.

So The Critics Choice and the Golden Globes now have awarded Rachel B and the series as the best of the year. I have to agree with their choice and assessment. And that’s not just for personal reasons. KUDOS awards season so far. While the rest of the country is saying The Marvelous WHAT??? due to the small nature and distribution of this eight episode series on Amazon, and the fact that most humans have never heard of it, in my opinion, they have chosen art at it’s finest this time around.

 

9 comments

  • I agree. It’s a fabulous show. And the accuracy got me too, though of course I, like you, come from an entirely different echelon of Jewish society than the one portrayed there.

  • I wish I could see that show, but we don’t get that station. I do think that shows or movies that we think are the very best on a personal level, usually has something about it, with which we identify. For example, you know I love “Splendor in the Grass”: which deals with a yearning for someone that is unrequited.

    • It is FREE this weekend on Amazon – you can go to Amazon dot com and stream for free. Just watch the last one hour episode if you can’t get in eight hours of it. You won’t enjoy the profanity, but you will like the humanity of it and she does a young Joan Rivers type dead on!

  • I’m in full agreement, Arlene. I completely relate to this show. Phil watches with me and we laugh together!

  • Only got through 3 episodes and I’m hooked. The storyone depicted the era to perfection and so does Mrs Mazel !! And if you get Yiddish all the better

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