Sunday, April 02, 2006

Truly, Madly, Deeply Impressive

I find Juliet Stevenson to be absolutely fascinating.

The first time I saw her was in a television production of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, where she played Nora. She controlled every scene in which she appeared--not through physical appearance (although she is an attractive woman), but through a personal intensity that she manages to communicate in every scene of that film. By the time that Nora walked down those stairs and into an uncertain but vaguely hopeful future, Stevenson absolutely owned that role. I've seen the character portrayed by other actresses since then, but none so convincingly.

I have subsequently seen her in a variety of supporting roles, but never again in a starring role until last weekend when, by accident, I tuned into the 1991 film Truly, Madly, Deeply. Stevenson plays a woman trying to find balance in her life after the death of her lover--a balance she finds only when his ghost comes back to visit her in the dreary flat that is her home. Before long, though, she learns that there are downsides to having a lover who can never share life with her... Once again, Stevenson is remarkably real and believable in the role, and she makes the character far more likeable than she might have been in the hands of a lesser actress.

Don't know if she's starred in anything else, or if her career has been one of supporting roles, guest-starring roles, and voice-overs... but if I see her name attached to a film, I'll go out of my way to watch it--she's that good!

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