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The life of comedienne Fanny Brice, from her early days in the Jewish slums of the Lower East Side, to the height of her career with the Ziegfeld Follies, including her marriage to and eventual divorce from Nick Arnstein. Written by
Randy Goldberg <email@example.com>
When Nick and Fannie leave the lobster restaurant in Baltimore, the sun is setting over a large expanse of water, with no land visible, presumably the ocean. A sunset in Baltimore would be over land (west) rather than the ocean (east). See more »
"When a person's a stranger...they should act a little strange."
Tour-de-force for Barbra Streisand, reprising her Broadway triumph and taking over the screen as 1930s Ziegfeld singer/comedienne Fanny Brice. Streisand's incredible self-assurance and clowning poise was enough to win her the Best Actress Oscar AND tick off most of Hollywood (few in the business were prepared for someone like Streisand in 1968, except maybe those familiar with her TV work, but the results here show she didn't care what anyone thought of her). The sets look phony, the script is contrived, and Omar Sharif is somewhat miscast as husband Nick Arnstein (Sharif is wonderful in the early stages, but his wet, red eyes and mincing baby-talk grow incredibly weary); however most of the song numbers are fabulous, and Barbra is at her best when delivering a high-powered number. She's tough and unyielding even while doing a comedic bit, but during an emotional song she lets her guard drop a little (not enough to become truly vulnerable, just enough to let us share her pain). The film doesn't exhaust one the way some musical extravaganzas can; the camera-work is uneven and some sequences are overlit, but it has lots of spirit and dazzle. Most importantly, it's a film that remembers it is about a woman and a man, and never allows the show-biz glitter to suffocate the characters. *** from ****
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