Geraldine Page, Sweet Bird of Youth
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Sunday, September 25, 2005
"....The exception is Geraldine Page as the Princess, the aging movie star. Her role was the center of the stage play; Mr. Brooks, with his usual obtuseness, has tried to put Chance and the other Southern grotesques into the center, but Miss Page takes over the film as triumphantly as she did the play. Whenever she is on, one concentrates on her exclusively. She has all the attributes of a great actress--style, presence, wit, timing, emotional mobility, and beauty, or what is the important thing, the ability to give that effect to the audience. She is also able to imitate an actual person. Her triumph is all the greater because the Princess is an excessively unreal role. Miss Page is able to express the grandiose phoniness of the aging star and at the same time to let us glimpse the frightened person underneath, as Fredric March did in A Star Is Born. Something will also have to be done about the waste of Miss Page's vast talent in recent years on Westerns (Hondo), trivial plays (Separate Tables), and Mr. Williams unsoaped operas. We can't expect her to do it--even the best performers seem to have no sense about their "vehicles," lending themselves to the first nonsense that comes down the pike. Perhaps some director in Rome or Paris will some day realize that here is an actress capable of meeting the highest demands in her art."
On Movies, p. 149
re-printed from Esquire, June 1962