CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Review: Who's Afraid Of Virgina Woolf? (1966)

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In honor of Liz Taylor being the classic movie goddess of the month, I'm going to post personal reviews of her best films. I'll start with the highly dramatic but effective 1966 drama Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?. It pairs her with on-again, off-again husband Richard Burton as aging bitter couple Martha and George who become friends with a young couple named Nick and Honey (played by George Segal and Sandy Dennis). Having the young couple over for drinks turns into verbal sparring between Martha and George that turns very ugly very quickly. The young couple are pretty much terrified at the display they are witnessing but are scared to leave. This small B&W film with mainly the four actors on constant display is an actors dream to play in. The performances are all exceptionally good. Taylor is terrific as Martha who has several scenes where she just goes off on poor George. And kudos to Liz for deglamourizing herself  and putting on a few extra pounds to convincely  play this harridan. Liz was only 33 when she made this movie, but comes across believably as this middle aged shrew. Burton is good too as George, who takes the verbal abuse only for so long until he fires back. The banter between the two is well written and excellently performed. I mean if any two people knew more about each other than anyone else it's Liz and Richard. George Segal and Sandy Dennis are also good as the young couple who get in on the verbal sparring eventually. Director Mike Nichols of Silkwood, Working Girl and other later films makes his solid debut with this well made film that is really an actors showcase. One of Liz's best performances ever. I give it a solid rating of B+

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I think this is Taylor's best film. I could watch it over and over! Great review!


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