Friday, February 11, 2011

Lynn Fontanne in "The Guardsman"

Lynn Fontanne received her only Oscar nomination for playing simply The Actress in The Guardsman.

The Guardsman, while having an interesting story, is slow, very slow, and never comes to live on screen. The two actors - Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne have chemistry with each other, but neither one are hardly fascinating. The story follows the two married actors, as they insult each other into oblivion. He finally gets the feeling she is cheating on him, so he disguises himself as a Russian to see if she will fall for his advances. The story is all over the place and the acting is pure theatrics.

Lynn Fontanne plays The Actress in a hysterical way - not only does she have the diva like quality of an actress, but she also has the theatrical stereotype of an actress. She's always moving her arms, always dragging out the words so everyone can her, always making a big deal out of everything to prove to the world she knows her game. The Guardsman would like us to believe it's a charming comedy, but it's not that either, since where is it? Lynn certainly didn't have anything to work with, other then those annoying stereotypes.

Lynn has a natural quality to her, but her silent roots are visible in the part. Like this interesting smile she gives near the end of the film, it's both strange, but entertaining, as we soon begin to learn she may have been in on the secret the entire time.

An interesting performance in an interesting story, that both fail to shine as they should.

2 comments:

Louis Morgan said...

She's okay but not as good as she could be.

joe burns said...

Never seen her, and don't really want to...