Sunday, April 09, 2006

Julie Christie's a Darling in Her Oscar Role

Last night I watched 1965's Darling, which I hadn't seen for years. The film follows the exploits of Diana Scott, a young women out to demonstrate how far a beautiful girl can go in the swingin' sixties. With Julie Christie in the lead, Diana and Darling have charm, class, and complexity. Christie is magnetic and has the audience firmly on her side throughout the film, even when her character's sometimes acting in an underhanded and selfish manner. The film's take on the glamourous, decadent Jet Set lifestyle may today seem tame and outdated, but director John Schlesinger captures the 'modish' time and place very effectively, and Christie's work is something to see (she deservely won the Oscar, NYFC, and the National Board of Review awards for Best Actress). Featuring two excellent costarring performances from Dirk Bogarde (as Diana's true love) and Laurence Harvey, smooth and sly as the unemotional-yet-sexy cad Diana has a fling with. Film also won Academy Awards for Orignal Screenplay and B&W Costume Design, and the NYFC award for Best Picture.

P.S.- for all you voyeurs out there, there's a scene near the end of Darling wherein a frustrated Diana strips out of her gown, ending up naked in front of her vanity mirror (it's probably Oscar's first "Best Actress" performance to include a nude scene). I'd never viewed this sequence in its entirety (I first saw the film on cable tv, so the nudity must've been edited out); seeing the scene as a whole helps illustrate the extent of Diana's frustration with her lot in life at a point when she appears to have it all.


Post a Comment

<< Home