Saturday, May 1, 2010

Jennifer Jones in "Love Letters"

Jennifer Jones received her third Oscar nomination for playing two different characters, Victoria Morland and Singleton, in Love Letters.

Love Letters is the tale of a solider who writes letters for his best friend, love letters to a woman he has never met, but eventually he begins to fall in love with her from afar. The friend dies, he moves back to England, looks her up, and found she has died as well.

Jennifer Jones's Victoria is a typical 1940s woman...not sure how else to describe her. She loves her man, and that's about it. She doesn't even know this man, really, and marries him on the letters alone.

Yes, it's getting more complicated.

Jennifer's Singleton is an amnesiac, mysterious woman, who is still so lovely and still wants to love her man! Alan (Joseph Cotton) tries to help Singleton regain her past, because she might hold the key to why Victoria died.

I guess voters in 45, thought this was impressive, for an actress to try and "act" with two different characters. I won't spoil the revelation in case most of you haven't seen it, but you have to be very naive to not, at least, suspect the spoiler of the ending.

This is the problem. Jennifer Jones wants to do wonders with this role, it shows, but it is very messy.

Jennifer engages the audience in monologues about love, loss, happiness, these are good scenes, and could have easily been great, but she never is able to draw a line between Victoria and her Singleton character. It also doesn't help her that her movie is downright ridiculous, and this isn't Jennifer's fault, it is her fault she never differentiates her two characters.

Jennifer Jones's plays Victoria with a mannered, underwhelming spirit. She plays "Singleton" with mystery and shine. Neither of them work, as they should, and the result is a misfire. She has nice moments here and there, but overall, it's unimpressive.


joe burns said...

I think your ranking will be:

1. Crawford

2. Tierney

3. Garson

4. Jones

5. Bergman

Sage Slowdive said...

Certainty could be :)

joe burns said...

I can't wait to see your thoughts on Joan! If you've rewatched it already, did your thoughts on Eve Arden change?

Sage Slowdive said...

I watched Mildred Pierce again not too long ago, so I didn't need to rewatch it this time.

joe burns said...

Oh, okay. I think that if Eve Arden had a stronger part, then maybe she would be my pick, but I think Blyth should have won. She was brilliant!

Sage Slowdive said...

Yeah, Ann Blyth was miles away the best nominee that year.

joe burns said...

Do you think that Kate Winslet will be a good Mildred Pierce? And do you know if anybody famous is playing Veda and Ida?

Sage Slowdive said...

I really haven't heard anything about it...and I don't see a need to remake Mildred Pierce either.

I hope Kate Winslet tries to be an original Mildred, and not copy Joan's style and attitude.