Photo by Don Kellogg

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Country Girl

A lesser known work by Clifford Odets. A play (1950) staring Uta Hagen, made into a popular movie (1955) staring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and William Holden, this 3rd revival is something just short of average.

Despite the star power - Morgan Freeman, Frances McDormand, and Peter Gallagher - the play lacks chemistry and comes across as rather flat. I never felt much attraction between Gallagher and McDormand - and Freeman always seemed too pleasant and happy - - i am guessing that a drunk would not be so even keeled.

I found the set (and hence the theater) unusually dark. There was a radio on stage that played music during the dialogue occasionally. At one point - McDormand asked Gallagher if the music was distracting - and someone from the audience shouted out "Yes!"

Throughout the show i often felt i was watching an old black and white movie that wasn't very good. The dialogue is pretty dated - but perhaps some actors with more chemistry or a director with a more progressive style could have given this old relic the boost it needed.

Despite the stars, I don't think this one will last very long. Nice try, but no dice.