waitsfortherain @ : An Oscar for Fanny Ardant!!
is a silly film based on too far-fetched an idea. It might easily be the kind of film that people see and forget. But it isn't. It's a rare experience, as very seldom comes the way of anyone who cares for films, and, especially, for actors. The reason is Fanny Ardent's absolutely breathtaking performance as Maria Callas.
Fanny Ardent is by any standars a truly great actress, in the tradition of Simone Signoret and Jeanne Moreau. Her performance in La Femme d'à Côté
, directed by her husband François Truffaut, made it quite clear, twenty years ago, that the French cinema had another actress of that stature. Since then, she has been seen in one great performance after the other.
As it often happens with this kind of performer, she never forsook the stage, something that Parisian playgoers never cease to be grateful for. Some time ago (five years, if I'm not mistaken), she was the natural choice to play Callas on the stage in the French production of the Broadway hit Master Class
. Those who saw it went as far as saying that no other actress who had done the play was more magical as Callas as Fanny Ardent.
The story goes that it was the sight of Ardent in Master Class
that triggered Zefirelli's idea to make Callas Forever
. If so, we can only be grateful to this otherwise uneven director for generating a masterpiece of a performance, one that is impossible to forget. Surely, Fanny Ardent as Maria Callas is on its way to becoming one of the legendary performances in the history of movies.
The Academy Award nominations will come out in a few hours. If Fanny Ardent in Callas Forever
is not announced as one of the five names in the leading actress category, the academy will once again be showing to the world how important, from time to time, it is for their members to act freakishly. Like so many times before. Like in 1972, when everybody wondered if Dirk Bogarde was going to get the Oscar itself for Death in Venice
, or just a nomination. The nominations came out and he was ignored.
Somewhat fervently, I hope Fanny Ardent does
get her nomination.