The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, based on Carson McCullers’ novel, shows how the characters’ time together, despite of their reliance on its permanence, is fleeting. Mr. Singer (Alan Arkin) has to move from a smaller town as Antonapoulos’ (Chuck McCann) guardian, being confined at a facility in Jefferson, Georgia, a place wher he isn’t supposed to be. In Jefferson, he boards with the Kellys and works for an Afro-Caribbean doctor, dealing with the latter’s family troubles.
I like the Kelly’s daughter Mick (Sandra Locke), supposedly being more refined than her respectfully working class family is and will allow. There’s a scene when she hosts a party for the other neighborhood adolescents and they end up using her brother’s fireworks. She wants happiness and acceptance but will not compromise herself to get that from her peers – as they play with fireworks, she kicks them out of her property I would have let them play with the fireworks while moping.
Singer is the perfect friend for an ‘individual’ like Mick as he is with the doctor or a recovering alcoholic (Stacy Keach). He’s shunned by Mick but she changes change her mind when he starts buying her classical records even if he can’t enjoy them. Arkin is perfectly cast as Singer, even if it’s in the level of physical appearance. His dark features, making him look biracial, contributes in his role as a shamanistic mediator between the whites and blacks. He wears a suit and walks around, his silence read as pensive, altrustic and even happy.
Yes, there are ridiculous points in the film, like when the doctor’s son-in-law Willie stabs a racist man with his own knife instead of throwing it away. Or McCullers piling on departures and rejections and violence on Singer to drive him to his end. Was Singer not strong enough? Mick says that he was there for her and for everyone, and I wonder if anyone can withstand constantly being that person.
Doing this post on a whim. Much more actresses have one or two great movies a year, but due to realizing that the great Claudia Cardinale has been in three great movies in 1963, I decided to do some time-wasting and find out which other women have had the same luck.
Yes, I’ll admit that I’ve only seen Cardinale and Williams’ full list while the rest are below because I’ve seen one or two of each actress’ movies. Many of the women on the list are also here because of their supporting roles. It’s hard to carry a great film. Can you imagine trying to do the same for three?
Also, I know nothing about the silent era but I’m sure that I’ll eventually learn that the likes of Lillian Gish and Janet Gaynor have hat tricks under their CV’s, the latter winning the first Best Actress Oscar for three performances. It’s also harder to get names of actresses and movies belonging to world cinema. If I could only double myself and extend the hours of a day.
And yes, Williams is here because as much as I hate parts of Shutter Island, I know a lot of you love it. Although I’m sure her 2011 is looking better than her 2010. Here goes the list.
Olivia de Haviland – 1939 – (Gone with the Wind, Dodge City, The Private Lives of Elizabeth of Essex)
Barbara Stanwyck – 1941 – (The Lady Eve, Meet John Doe, Ball of Fire)
Grace Kelly – 1954 – (Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, The Country Girl)
Claudia Cardinale – 1963 – (8 1/2, The Leopard, The Pink Panther)
Faye Dunaway – 1974 – (Chinatown, The Towering Inferno, Four Musketeers)
Patricia Clarkson – 2003 (Dogville, The Station Agent, All the Real Girls)
Michelle Williams – 2010 – (Shutter Island, Blue Valentine, Meek’s Cutoff)
A factor in making this list involved representing each decade, one actress per decade to be more frank. I chose de Haviland over Bette Davis’s movies in the same year, Kelly over Marilyn Monroe‘s 1953 (it hurt me to do that), Driver over Kirsten Dunst (Driver might be disqualified since her involvement in Mononoke only came through 1998/1999, when Miramax released the film stateside, but Dunst 1999 films are guilty pleasures that I can’t admit to the public yet) or Clarkson over Maggie Gyllenhaal’s 2002. Besides, this post is a picture overload already, as is most of my posts in this blog.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but there’s no actress in the list that has an 80’s hat trick. Great roles and movie seemed spread out generously among the Meryl Streep generation and the Brat Pack girls.
Lastly, I’ll make a list for the boys and the directors, or make hat trick lists for consecutive years or movies, but only if you ask nicely. Or better yet, if you could do the rest 😛
- Princess Mononoke – Japanese Anime (8thumbsup.wordpress.com)