Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2010 CIFF: Applause

After two days of volunteering and seeing films I took a day off and was back today for a movie before and after my shift. I started the afternoon out seeing a Danish film called Applause. This is the kind of film where the lead performance is the whole movie, and that should be no surprise since it is about an alcoholic stage actress trying to reform her life. Though her career is still strong and she is still a celebrity, Thea has lost her husband and relinquished her kids. Now she desperately wants her children back, if only she can stay off the bottle. We have seen this scenario many times before, but I think why filmmakers return to it again and again is for the performance and here Paprika Steen delivers a home run. She plays Thea as an angry woman, upset at her ex, furious with her visible aging, and ultimately furious with herself. She plays her with such ferocity, you aren't quite sure how a trip to the park with her children will turn out. Though we have seen this type of film before, Steen's performance is one to behold.