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For this movie and Tootsie (1982), actress Jessica Lange received two Oscar nominations for acting in the same year. It was the first time since 1942 that an actress had been nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in the same year and the third time overall. Frances (1982) was Lange's first Best Actress Academy Award nomination but she won that year only for Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Tootsie (1982). Ironically, in Frances (1982), at one point in the film, her character is named a "little tootsie" by another character. Lange would eventually win a Best Actress Oscar for Blue Sky (1994). See more »
Among the framed portraits of actresses under contract to Paramount Pictures hanging on Mr. Bebe's office walls is one of Joan Crawford. But Crawford was an MGM contract player at the time portrayed in the scene and never worked for Paramount. See more »
Madness as a result of being haunted by the media because you are honest.
'Frances' is a highly touching reconstruction of the life of fifties actress Frances Farmer, from Seattle. Jessica Lange did a miraculous job in playing Frances, with paranoia in her rolling eyes, which -I must admit- makes her look like a madwoman indeed. The movie shows how someone can be completely destroyed by misunderstandings, enlarged by a ridiculous amount of media attention. The most beautiful part is that, where Frances returns to Seattle, now a star. The people who used to scorn her, are now kissing her butt to gain her sympathy. She stands still in the middle of the hallway, and with all eyes on her she starts to scream they are hypocrites. After that, she is of course again considered crazy, like before. Even when she only wants to be left alone, she is haunted and harassed by those who feel called upon 'helping her'. This, combined with a rather sensitive and unstable character, makes her paranoid and finally leads to her destruction.
I first heard about Frances Farmer through an interview with Kurt Cobain, who admired her courage and was experiencing the same as she had. Courtney got married in one of her dresses and even though their baby wasn't named after her but after a male Frances, they both thought of her later. Cobain also wrote a song about her, 'Frances Farmer will have her revenge on Seattle', which appeared on the second Nirvana studio album 'In Utero'.
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