I am among the few who admired Ms. Dunaway's performance. She claims it ruined her career, but it's hard to see why. She rings true for the most part, one diva quite convincingly playing another, but the movie is mostly about her home life, with little of her Hollywood stardom, which might have livened up the tale. The oddly under-populated scene where Joan visits her studio and Louie B. Mayer fires her is deadly dull, and pointless -- she asks him to escort her to her car so she can hold her head up high, which would have been the gracious thing for him to do, but he gives her the brush off for no reason that is explained. The main fault here is Diana Scarwind as Christina Crawford, giving an odd, spaced out performance. There is no "normal" person with whom we can identify. The movie is very slow and episodic, with a few famous scenes. I read "Mommie Dearest" in installments when it was first printed in "New York Magazine," and the story was never again so gripping. The movie seems to be presented in installments, too, but they are not so vivid as they were in the magazine, heightened and condensed. Christina Crawford's book was sharp and insightful, so why she is presented as a passive, mush-mouthed cypher is puzzling. This movie isn't as "campy" as people would like to think. But it is pretty dull.