Friday, December 01, 2006

[1980] COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER: I don't generally care about stuff like who won what Oscar, or for biopics, but Sissy Spacek really owned the you know what out of this movie. Her performance as Loretta Lynn is up there with Theresa Russell in Bad Timing for films of the year 1980 for me; where Russell was unabashed and open, Spacek is a bit of everything. She's more on the Oscarbait capital-A acting wavelength, doing Lynn's transformation from backwoods 14 year old child bride to pill-popping superstar. And Oscar loves that kind of thing--see De Niro's Oscar this same year--but Spacek is really good at being a petulant child, or a young woman giddy with being on the threshold of success, or the mature Lynn who keeps on performing and performing and being popular without ever completely excising her self-doubt. I loved the scene near the end where she breaks down on stage, the burdens of her husband (a mostly just-along-for-the-ride Tommy Lee Jones) and her fans and everything else finally wearing her down. Now dramatically, the movie is sort of iffy, as it portrays Loretta Lynn as almost entirely a creation of her husband, which may be true, but it doesn't make for a super-compelling story. But it's okay--Spacek's performance is enough of a story all on its own.

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