Catching My Attention

†††††††† After watching several of the films shown in class, I found that one actress stuck out in my mind as to portraying her character so well. Out of all the actors and actresses, Vivien Leigh caught my attention. She was Blanche Dubois. I enjoyed her character so much in the film and the Academy Award she received for A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Elia Kazan and based on Tennessee Williamsís 1947 play, was well deserved.

†††††††† Part of the reason Vivien Leigh was so great as portraying Blanche Dubois is that Leigh herself suffered from a mental disorder. Leigh suffered from bipolar disorder and she was once quoted saying that playing Blanche was hard on her. In the film, Blanche suffers from a mental disorder as well. Vivien brings Blancheís mental disorder to life in the film. It is sad to know that Vivien was playing a character so much like herself.

†††††††† Another trait that Leigh and Blanche had in common that some may not know about is their addiction to sex. In the film it is obvious that Blanche has a history of being promiscuous. You can see her being this way, and you hear about her history. Some people may not know, but Vivien Leigh was the same way. She was addicted to sex and had numerous affairs behind her husband, Laurence Olivierís, back just to control herself.

†††††††† It is amazing how much in common Blanche and Vivien Leigh were. I believe Vivien Leigh played the role of Blanche better than any actor or actress I watched all semester. She did not transform into Blanche successfully though. Unfortunately, Leigh was already Blanche Dubois. I think it is sad that Leigh suffered as much as she did. She had so many troubles in her life, and I hate to think that she went through so much as Blanche did.

Laura Girten

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