Thursday, August 11, 2011

Faye Dunaway in "Chinatown"

Faye Dunaway received her second Oscar nomination for playing Evelyn Mulwray in Chinatown.

Chinatown is a masterpiece of American cinema, there is really no way getting around it. I remember when I first saw Chinatown, I was endlessly fascinated at how Polanski was able to create such an all around incredible movie. The script is one of the finest screen has seen, the direction is smooth and intelligent, and of course the acting is impeccable, especially by Jack Nicholson who couldn't be more incredible here. The story is deep, but it mostly follows private detective Jake Gittes and his attempt to solve an adultery case that later turns to a murder investigation.

Faye Dunaway plays Evelyn, the wife who originally hires Gittes. Faye Dunaway has always been one of my favorite actresses - she has a distinct acting style that has always impressed me, it's like she attacks her roles the same way Susan Hayward or Bette Davis did. Here, she has to hold a fine line between the mysterious and the sultry nature of her character. Even though the role is slightly iconic, Dunaway actually doesn't have as much screentime as one would expect, but it's how she effects the overall film that makes her performance so amazing.

She haunts, and she sure knows how to do it wonderfully. When she speaks the lines, she does it in a clear, crisp way that leaves me a little breathless. I bought into Evelyn's act, just as Gittes did, and it's all because of how great Dunaway keeps the audience guessing throughout the entire movie. She is terrific in Chinatown, always giving it her all. It is an amazing performance that fits perfectly within the movie.

4 comments:

hey deanie said...

I think she's my pick out of this bunch (the times have changed!). She is brilliant, so subtle – "I don't see anyone for very long, Mr. Gittes. It's difficult for me." My gosh. The way she says that line is just so sad and evocative.

DistinguishedFlyer said...

I've never really been able to get into this movie, but I agree that she is excellent.

Louis Morgan said...

I agree she is amazing just like Nicholson and the film itself.

dinasztie said...

Brilliant movie!