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This little-seen film (shown way back 1987) is promising, specially upon seeing Kirkland's Oscar-nominated performance as a one-famous movie star and now striving to have a normal life in California. Supermodel Paulina Porizkova made her movie debut here, and she is nonetheless fine. In spite of the script's inconsistencies, Kirkland's brilliant rendition of Anna (reminiscent of the classic "All About Eve") is worth a watch. I really cried when I first saw it. Inspiring. 7/10.
I found it quite absorbing. I haven't seen it since 1988 or so. I remember Paulina Porizkova was a pretty famous model back then, pre-supermodel days. I was deeply struck by the relationship between the two woman. Youth and middle-age. The incredible losses of not only youth, but of possibility and love are touched on in a way very rarely seen in movies. Especially from a woman's point of view. The mentoring of the younger woman and then the incredible sense of loss when she is whisked away by public reaction to her beauty and then actually takes on the painful past of her mentor, in a way steals it is incredibly moving. You end up feeling for Kirkland's character because she seems to have greater depth than the younger woman, but at the same time is that just the result of age and circumstance? And the poignant relationship to her lost image and the contacts and opportunity that her youthful beauty once promised her. Now she is alone and forgotten in a foreign land. It is pretty incredible.
Sally Kirkland is standout in this character driven drama. This film is
what great films are all about, they tell great stories about people
and get you thinking.
The script is fantastic and Kirkland is heart breaking. The film should be far better remembered than it is and film schools should use it in class.
Kirkland should have won the Oscar and had the film had better distribution and some more money behind it, she would have, but CHER had a huge campaign behind her for Moonstruck.
Kirkland is under rated and her two best roles since ANNA have failed to get distribution:
What's up Scarlet and Norma Jean, Jack, and Me.
A must see for film fans and those who love actors...
As an actor who works in film and television, I think Kirkland's
performance in "Anna" is one of the greatest ever given by an American
actress on screen. Every actor should see it, as well as Kim Stanley's
in "The Goddess" and Geraldine Page's in "The Trip to Bountiful".
I also think this film is important in its message to Hollywood - stop putting looks above talent!
This film is a fascinating story, all too true for actresses in the US, especially today. Anna, an enormously talented middle-aged woman, is overlooked, while exceptional opportunities come along for a pretty young girl with little to offer but looks and a perky personality, who just happens to use Anna to get to the top.
The story is supposed to be based on a real person and her experience trying to find work in New York after having been a star in Europe. Kirkland brings this character to life with amazing depth and courage. Although she lost the Oscar that year to the well - deserving Cher for "Moonstruck", I think if more people had seen this film, Kirkland would have walked away with the little gold man that night. I am still inspired by what the film has to say about women in this business who lose opportunities because of ageism. What is it with American producers? I love Judi Dench and Vanessa Redgrave, but if they were American women, they would never find work! The Hollywood film industry should take a lesson from their European counterparts and use the talented older ladies we have right here!!! Every time Dench or Redgrave make a film, they are nominated or win for it. There are thousands of equally gifted ladies right under our noses in Hollywood who never get a shot at greatness. Sadly, Sally Kirkland just had the one...
what makes this film worth watching, other than the unrecognized talent of sally kirkland, is the authentic feel of lower new york and the off broadway scene. the ending is not what i expected and i appreciate the fact that someone knows how to write an ending that makes you think about what you just saw and feel somehting for the characters that you have to think about before you decide exactly what you felt. i saw this film several years after its release and i think if i could vote the oscars now i would vote it in lead actress, screenplay and cinemotagraphy. an excellent film proving creativity not money is what makes something worth watching on screen. 3 and 1/2 stars. timelessly moving
A once famous Czech actress, fallen on hard times since emigrating to New York City in 1968, finds the strain of maintaining her professional integrity beginning to take its toll after too many humiliating off-Broadway auditions. But unlike its title character the film of the same name is (thankfully) far less neurotic, presenting a fresh mix of otherwise familiar narrative elements. It's part show-biz satire, part fish-out-of-water drama, and in large part a cross cultural variation of 'A Star Is Born', with the melancholy Anna sheltering an impoverished but attractive peasant girl from the Old Country (Paulina Porizkova) whose unexpected (and unsolicited) success begins to eclipse her mentor's own fading career. The relationship is given added resonance in the young protégé's naive ignorance of Prague Spring, giving the domestic show business story a richer European perspective, which no doubt came natural to screenwriter Agnieszka Holland, an accomplished filmmaker herself. But after having created such memorable characters (rewarded in the title role by a performance to match, from unlikely Oscar nominee Sally Kirkland) it's too bad Holland's script then had to settle for such an abrupt and artificial ending.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Unable to sleep late at night, I got one of my brother's old VHS tapes and played something called Anna. This 20-year old movie made by European artists in America for the independent film company Vestron Pictures starred Sally Kirkland in the Oscar-nominated title role as a former Czech movie actress who's now struggling off-Broadway as an understudy for seven roles in an art-house play. Robert Fields plays her writer boyfriend Daniel, Steven Gilborn-who I remember as Kevin Arnold's math teacher in "The Wonder Years"-her ex-husband Tonda, and supermodel Paulina Porizkova is Krystyna-Anna's protégé. When I read the end credits, at the last name on the cast list was Francis' daughter Sofia Coppola as Noodle though I don't remember her or the character. Anyway, this movie began amusingly enough with Anna suffering an audition reciting a nursery rhyme while standing on one leg and shouting but as the film went on we feel for her as she suffers a breakdown after Krystyna steals Anna's life story for her own as she-with Anna's help-rises in stardom. Kirkland deserved her only Academy Award nomination that I felt was even better than the one who actually won in the Best Actress category that year: Cher in Moonstruck. Porizkova was also pretty good for her ingénue role as we see her and Kirkland initially bond. Since Vestron no longer exists, this movie may be difficult to find now but Anna is definitely worth a look.
ANNA is a very uneven film BUT Sally Kirkland's performance is not. Shame that more people didnt see if they did she might have gotten an Academy Award. Fortunately she was nominated.
This film is all about Kirkland's performance, which is still one of
the best performances I've ever seen on film. She was nominated for an
Oscar but lost to Geraldine Page for The Trip to Bountiful in one of
those sympathy votes going to the lesser performance things (Page had
been nominated without winning something like eight times prior, so a
lot of people in the Academy probably thought it was time to give her
something). Porizkova does pretty well for her debut performance, but
then again she was pretty much playing herself as an eastern European
beauty who is discovered and becomes a model.
But I'm writing this review solely to give Kirkland the praise she deserves for her terrific performance.
Once a film star in Czechoslovakia, a middle-aged Anna has to settle for the humiliation of an off-Broadway understudy role only to watch her inexperienced and recently emigrated young protege (Porizkova) find sudden success in Hollywood. There is probably only one reason to watch "Anna", a clumsy slice-of-miserable-life story, and that is Kirkland's wonderful portrayal of her courageously vulnerable character. Likely to have only narrow appeal, "Anna" is a Czech flavored indie worth a look and a must see for Kirkland fans. C+
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