Jenna Ipcar's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Frances
Frances (1982)
35 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Eh. Jessica Lange does an amazing job in portraying a fleshed out Frances Farmer but unfortunately she's fighting against the director here. Frances' story is told at arms length and for some baffling reason through Sam Shepard's character (also well acted but) who unfortunately adds nothing except male gaze / narration (and nice 80s hair). Pretty much the only time the audience is left alone with Frances is when the movie wants to highlight her suffering. Unfortunately it never actually portrays any insight into her inner life or the true roots of her problems... Sure, it hints at it. Its THERE... sorta. But they lose their way half way through the film and nothing is ever explicitly hammered home (except when it's about making her mother off as an evil bitch).

The whole thing just put a bad taste in my mouth unfortunately. Which isn't to say its BAD, it's not-a mixture of good acting and some excellent cinematography keep it going. But could this have been a deeper, more insightful and more emotionally powerful film had they swapped out the director with somebody who wanted to tell a story of female suffering at the hands of society? Easily.

Sugar Hill
Sugar Hill (1974)
35 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

I watched this totally blind and it was like 10x better than I expected. I loved this - I loved the plot, I loved the art direction, I loved the costumes, I loved the concept... like hell yeah, get a hot woman to raise a zombie army of slaves to kill a buncha honkies. Amazingly satisfying ending too.

Like is there plenty that's 'wrong' about this? Yeah duh, but I'm not here to overthink a movie about a woman named "Sugar Hill," like what more do you want from a blaxploitation movie. This being a revenge flick about her boyfriend was a great 'twist' - at least she didn't get assaulted herself. In fact I found this refreshingly non-sexist for the most part... at least in comparison to what it could have been. This shit was just fun.

Opening Night
Opening Night (1977)
35 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Phew, I need to process this and probably rewatch it to have something meaningful to say but...
Gena Rowlands forever. This is definitely another for the ol female anxiety movie list.

Wait for Your Laugh
35 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Like Rose Marie herself, Wait For Your Laugh is a real charmer. Told through several interviews, an amazing photo and video archive (largely supplied by Rose Marie herself), and a handful of short reenactments, Wise weaves a colorful portrait of his subject. It's both an amazing time capsule of the last century of showbiz (what a gift that we have so much archival footage of the entire life of somebody born in the 1920s) and a sweet, empathetic portrait of a now overlooked talent.

That said, it certainly doesn't paint Rose Marie as demure or passive, she's definitely a tough broad - the likes of whom referred to Dick Van Dyke as "a six foot tower of Jelly" when he wouldn't stand up for the cast, and struck back at a predatory Weinstein-like film producer by yelling, in front of everybody, "You couldn't get it up if a flag went by." Yet, despite some tyrannical inclinations, you never get the sense that she was anything but driven and professional. As somebody who grew up with no formal schooling, all Rose Marie knew was show business, and her stamina and work ethic are enviable. She was clearly in it for the love of the work and the audience, never does she come across as somebody who took her life and fame for granted.

Worth a watch!

I'm All Right Jack
35 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A surprisingly even handed satire on corruption at all levels. Sellers is excellent as the labor union boss - one of those strong convictions but no social prowess types. I especially liked his deer in headlights moment on the television round table. Wish there had been more laughs in general though.

The final scene with a group of naked women chasing Carmichael must have been a Monty Python influence.