Laurel Wreath Versus Raspberry Award

†††††††† Throughout this course, we viewed numerous adaptations of different literary works. Some adaptations are accurate, some intermediate, and some loose. Of all the films, one film is the best adaptation, and one is the worst. Henrik Ibsenís 1879 play, A Dollís House was adapted to film twice in 1973: One, directed by Joseph Losey and starring Jane Fonda, deserves the raspberry award, and the second, a superior version directed by Patrick Garland and starring Claire Bloom, should receive the laurel wreath.

†††††††† The raspberry award should be given to the first adaptation of A Dollís House because of the poor sequence of events, unnecessarily added scenes, improperly matched actors, and inaccurate scene selection. This film opens in an entirely different manner than the play. Scenes involving conversations between Nora (Fonda) and Kristine (Delphine Seyrig) are added, and these extra scenes provide no necessary information. The film makers also add pointless scenes that occur before Nora and Torvaldís trip to Italy. About one-third of the film includes additional scenes before the opening scene of the Ibsenís play. The actors chosen for the film do not match the physical appearance of the characters in the play. In the film, Torvald, as portrayed by David Warner, is very unattractive. His personality is cold, and his actions toward Nora are not kind enough. Jane Fonda is a phenomenal actress, but her representation of Nora is not. The way she carries herself is not similar to the disposition of Ibsenís Nora. Fonda seems extremely scatterbrained in an ignorant, rather than cute, manner. Finally, the sets are poorly designed. Torvald and Noraís home is not at all how it is presented in the play. This film portrays their house as below average. The space is small and very cluttered. The house has no sense of home or a womanís touch. It seems merely drab and lifeless.

†††††††† On a more positive note, I would award the Garland version of A Dollís House with the laurel wreath. This film is the best adaptation of any of the films viewed in this course. The sequence of events is accurate; the actors properly match the characters; the setting is appropriate; and the general tone and essence of the play is captured in this film. The film opens in the same manner as the play, and the scenes closely follow Ibsenís text. The actors do an amazing job of realizing the characters in the play. The appearance of Nora (Claire Bloom) matches what one would imagine while reading the play. She is beautiful, with a slight innocence, but still manages to be intelligent. She gives just enough sass to Torvald and still is perceived as his little pet. The character of Dr. Rank (Ralph Richardson) is also similar to his counterpart in the play. He is older, but could still be understood as attractive. Also, his caring nature and childlike spirit show through perfectly. The setting of the home could not be better. The house looks homely but not extravagant. The desk is masculine, while the sitting room is slightly crazy. Finally, the tone of the film is nearly identical to that of the play. Nora and Torvaldís characters accurately depict the relationship between the couple, including Torvaldís belittling of Nora. Noraís attempt to act happy and try to fix every situation is portrayed well. The fact that Torvald is naÔve to the desires of his wife and the meaning of true love is obvious in this film. The scene wherein Nora snaps and realizes her marriage is a fake is perfectly performed.

†††††††† Ibsenís A Dollís House is a well-deserved, well-known classic. The Losey adaptation does not do it justice and deserves the raspberry award. Garlandís film, on the other hand, is well-directed, has a proper cast selection, and is wellperformed. This film adaptation is above all others in this course and should garner the laurel wreath.

Shannon Logan

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