Saturday, November 7, 2009

Possessed (1947)

A woman is found wandering Los Angeles, unable to say anything other than "David". Admitted to hospital she is coaxed into recounting her recent life. [wiki]

Nominated for 1 Oscar:

Best Actress: Joan Crawford

There was a funny comment on the imdb forum saying: Possessed by Van Heflin??? :)) because he wasn't the most attractive of men. In a way I agree, but he does manage to create a masculine, intriguing character. Anyway, the movie's not about him. Actually, the movie is about too many things, that's the problem.
It starts great and the first 10-15 minutes are incredibly well executed. The direction is fine throughout the film and the camera work from the beginning: creative & memorable. Even Joan does a fine job for the first half. But then the screenplay just keeps getting messier, with no way out. Until the last moment it's actually hard to understand what actually possesses her: the man, the dead woman (no spoiler) or her disease? As the 2nd part really goes down-the-hill, so does Joan's performance. She's subtle, fascinating in the beginning, but for the last moments she opts for B-movie horror type of performance, with lots of overacting and strange gestures! Is that really how schizophrenia looks like? I doubt it! A performance that will be hard to rate on my other blog (I'll have to watch it again anyway, to count the screentime).
My rating for the film: 4/10. For the stupidity of the last 30 minutes and the pathetic ending. But the direction had soooo much potential! Cliche movie that could've done more.

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