The life of Fanny Brice, famed comedienne and entertainer of the early 1900s. We see her rise to fame as a Ziegfield girl, subsequent career, and her personal life, particularly her relationship with Nick Arnstein.
The Wingo family is from South Carolina, they growing up in a house on a tidal plain. The oldest offspring, Lucas, largely acted as the protector for his younger twins siblings, Tom and Savannah, in light of their dysfunctional growing up, with their shrimper father, Henry, distant and abusive if/when he did pay them any attention, and their mother, Lila, while not doting on them most concerned about appearances and striving for social standing. Now in middle age, Savannah is a New York based poet, Tom, still living on the South Carolina coast outside of Charleston with his wife Sally and their own three doting daughters, taking a break from his high school teaching/football coaching job, while Lucas has long since died while still standing up for himself and his beliefs. Lila, divorced and now remarried with that wealth and social standing she so long desired, receives news that Savannah is in the hospital following her most recent suicide attempt. Not wanting to face the blame ...Written by
I'm afraid Streisand's overblown ego defeats this film. Taking what is essentially over-ripe Tennessee William's material, this may have had possibilities. But Streisand's character (and especially the director's fawning to her character (no surprise, since she directed it) makes this an ego journey of immense proportions. I don't know how Nolte survived this and how he crafted such a magnificent performance. I don't know how he managed to mutter the film's last lines ("Lowenstein, Lowenstein.") without breaking into laughter. (My guess...liquor and multiple takes.) Streisand as a performer needed someone to fetter her (she can give good performances when restrained.) Streisand the director needed to keep from falling in love with Lowenstein. (She did very well with the opening...except the titles and cast lists interfered with the story.) At the end, the only impression left is an unsubtle argument for Streisand's greatness. An argument that fails to persuade.
22 of 37 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this