Thursday, February 23, 2006


Frances (1982) is based on the tumultuous life of Frances Farmer, the notorious 1930's movie star whose impassioned opinions and outspoken behavior created scandal throughout the Hollywood industry. But after a painful break-up with famed playwrite Clifford Odets, she was betrayed by the studio system and committed to an insane asylum by her domineering mother, where she descended into a madness that revealed the most horrific abuses of mental illness and exposed the cruelest consequences of Hollywood fame.
Kim Stanley, as Farmer's mother Lillian, and Sam Shepard, as Harry York, both co-star. Kevin Costner, as "the man in the alley", and Anjelica Huston, as a mental-ward patient, both have cameos.
Frances was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Actress for Lange, and Best Supporting Actress for Stanley.
Source Material: Will There Really Be a Morning? by Jean Radcliffe and Shadowland by William Arnold. Also, Frances Farmer Tribute.
"A magnificent performance by Jessica Lange. Here is a performance so unfaltering, so tough, so intelligent and so humane that it seems as if Lange is just now, at long last, making her motion picture debut..."
New York Times

"A soaring performance...a combination of forcefulness, intelligence and a haunting sensuality. Frances belongs utterly to Jessica Lange."
Los Angeles Times

"A scalding performance by Jessica Lange, whose Frances can only be described as miraculous...she leaves you outraged, stunned and deeply moved."
New York Post

"Jessica Lange is exhilerating...her performance as the bright, beautiful, emotionally damaged Hollywood actress of the late 1930's is stunning."

"Jessica Lange plays Frances Farmer in a performance that is so driven, that contains so many different facets of a complex personality, that we feel that she has an intuitive understanding of this tragic woman."
Chicago Sun-Times

"...Lange, blonde, nervy, witty, with huge restless hands, captures, without self-pity, the haunting quality of the eternal misfit."

"Lange has a rare intelligence and intensity that beam through...a brittle tenderness, combining the fluffy alertness of a kitten with the prickly defensiveness of a porcupine...[her performance is a] triumph."
The Village Voice

"...The magic, the charm, the airy recklessness of Jessica Lange. As haunting in her own way as Frances Farmer was in hers, she conveys the inexpressible poignancy of a woman who never quite fits in—who is too smart to be a beautiful plaything, and too beautiful to be just smart."