Same Movie…Different Leading Ladies

         Personally, I am a big fan of Jane Fonda; so, after watching A Doll's House that was filmed in 1973 by Joseph Losey, I did feel that the 1879 play could not have been remade or redone any better than Losey had presented it to the audience. However, after watching Patrick Garland’s version of the Ibsen play, which was also filmed in 1973, but which starred Claire Bloom as Nora, the smart but somewhat timid housewife of Torvald, I was glad that I could see the play taken and put into the visions of two different directors with two completely different casts. It is true that the cast does make or break the film and also affects how the audience receives the message that the film is trying to convey.

         After watching this version of the movie, I felt that both Claire Bloom and Anthony Hopkins created both “real” and sympathetic characters. The message behind this whole play is also very clear, and Bloom does a very good job of depicting a woman on a pedestal where the audience can easily see both the positives and negatives that come with this position. I also like the fact that this movie fictionalizes a historical setting and time and made discussion about feminist issues feel safer and easier to bring about in conversation.

         After viewing this version of the play, I also noticed that this is a photographed play. I think it had something to do with the way Garland used his camera, cutting back and forth, for example, between a medium close-up of Nora and one of Torvald, in the final scene. The camera sometimes seemed to be meddling in things when it should have been content to stand back and let the audience make up their minds where they wanted to look next; but that is my only complaint after watching this film.

Tiffany Melton

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