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Willful young Jennifer Cassi travels to South America to claim the inheritance of her recently deceased twin sister Johanna's house. While there Jennifer must contend with her eccentric grandmother Mary Ellen Cassi, who has damned the family with an ancient curse. Jennifer immediately starts to suffer from scary visions of a sinister raven every time she goes to sleep. Written by
First, let me say that this movie is not a total waste of time. It has good visuals, strong atmosphere, and an effective musical score.
That said, it pains me to report that it falls apart because of really bad performances by the two leads. Faye Dunaway's bad performance was expected. When I saw MOMMIE DEAREST I knew she was sacrificing her career, and here she strictly shows up for the paycheck. But what happened to Gina Phillips? Her performance as Trish in JEEPERS CREEPERS was so strong, especially the reversal in her character as she boldly stood up to the Creeper in an attempt to protect her brother.
Here she seems even less interested in what's going on than Ms. Dunaway. Seeing that she's playing the title role, it would have been nice if she had tried to do something- anything- to develop a character we cared about. But she just sleepwalks through this.
My take on it is that acting is a job. If you're being directed by Sidney Lumet in an award winning screenplay or if you're being someone obscure in a script that seems more a series of scribbled notes isn't relevant.
What both Ms. Dunaway and Ms. Phillips need to remember is that Martin Scorsese might be channel surfing at two in the morning and watch JENNIFER'S SHADOW. Nothing either one of these usually dependable actresses does here is anything that would make any director want to cast them.
If you're cast in it and they're paying you, give it your best. If you feel that the project is beneath you, let someone who wants to play the part have a shot at it.
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