The Three Faces of Eve Reviews
I think Ken Hanke of Mountain Xpress best summarizes my opinion of this film: "It once seemed daring[;] now it seems simplistic." At the time, 1957, this film probably portrayed a little-known condition with little-known Freudian treatment, so that the popular audience had to be assured of the subject's verisimilitude, hence the framing narrator vouching for the film's accuracy to a point that the narrator "doth protest too much methinks." But now, Eve's condition is portrayed more like Thing from another World with magical and threatening music toning in every time one of Eve's personalities appears. It becomes heavy-handed, and for an audience that has seen Raising Cain, among all the other films about multiple personalities, it's trite.
That said, Joanne Woodward is fantastic, fully creating each personality and delivering a performance that of the "they don't make 'em like that any more" variety. I also liked the film's feminist overtones. Ralph is an appropriate villain, and making him the villain, the film impugns patriarchal culture.
The story's construction is also faulty in parts. There's no need for Woodward's song, and who the hell is Earl? He suddenly appears like the deus ex machina he is, and we have no reason to think of him as a worthy goal.
Overall, The Three Faces of Eve is a film to see because it's a classic, but unlike most good classics, it has been imitated and refined to the point that it lost its originality and spark.
Joanne Woodward won the Academy Award for Best Actress, making her the first actress to win an Oscar for portraying three different personalities (Eve White, Eve Black and Jane). The Three Faces of Eve also became the first film to win the Best Actress award without getting nominated in another category, and the last for nearly 31 years until Jodie Foster won the award for The Accused, the film's sole nomination. It is understandable - because only Woodward's acting was outstanding - everything else could be improved - especially the directing, camera work, photography and editing! Too many clichés left a movie about three personalities without a personality itself. I can see now how far the artistic value of the films is changed or improved. This seemed really daring at the time, now it is too simplistic to actually satisfy my cravings for a good engaging movie. It is like getting those old Atari game consoles out of the attic instead of the latest X-Box and prefer to play with it. It has a sentimental value, not much more in our modern time where movies are not black and white. On the other hand, there are some films from those times which will stand the test of the time forever, because they were never following the entertaining industry rules and formulas - they were following the urge of the artist... those are the movies which will survive through all the times and gaining value, like those old valuable paintings in the Louvre.
Joanne Woodward's acting will survive... the movie... I already forgot about it.
I found this movie to be very entertaining througout. Joanee Woodward does a fantastic job as Eve(she won a academy award for the role). I was fastinayed with her portral of the three personalties. For those of you who dont like movies because they are old, please give this film a chance. There are times when I have been bored by the old cinema, I'll admit. However with this one I was impressed. Just about every scene in this movie there is something that catches your eye. I found several of the scenes to be humourous. When she transforms into Eve Black she flirts with everyone! Even her psychiatrist, who was double her age! What the hell!?
So overall I found this movie quite a surprise. People who are interested in psychology will surely find this enjoyable along with anyone who enjoys great cinema.
advertisementEve Black: Don't you want to get me one?
Ralph White: Well, I've never seen you take a drink before.
Eve Black: Honey, there are a lot of things you've never seen me do before. That's no sign I don't do 'em.
*SPOILER* I kept thinking it would be revealed that the split was caused by her obviously abusive husband. I forgot that this movie was made in 1957 when stuff like that was a bit more tolerated.