Frances | Chicago Reader

Frances

Jessica Lange brings so much energy and personal involvement to her portrayal of Frances Farmer that you can't help but feel sorry for her; nothing else in the film remotely matches her talent and dedication, and she seems alone—and even slightly absurd—in her feverish creativity. So bad is the film that director Graeme Clifford has fashioned that it supports the picture's thesis—that Farmer was a great actress driven mad by Hollywood's blindness to her talent—better than most of the movies Farmer appeared in herself. Clifford recounts the chief events of Farmer's unhappy life in plodding chronological order, skipping over the episodes (such as the making of Come and Get It) that don't support his thesis, and never hesitating to invent characters and situations as easy solutions to dramatic problems. With Sam Shepard, Kim Stanley, and Bart Burns.

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