Mar 5, 2018

Vivien Leigh, A Streetcar Named Desire

Won: Academy Award - Best Actress | New York Film Critics Circle - Best Actress | Venice Film Festival - Volpi Cup, Best Actress

Many actresses have that one powerhouse performance which goes on to define their filmographies. Some produce multiple, truly great performances. Where Vivien Leigh's legacy stands out is through two pieces of performance art which are not only "great," but widely considered as monumental, iconic acting achievements that belong in the upper echelon of Oscar's Best Actress category. No other actress holds this distinction.

With that being said, there's a question I've grappled with: is Leigh the definitive Blanche DuBois?

Feb 18, 2018

Marlon Brando, A Streetcar Named Desire

A quick search of "sex symbol" might show you Rudolph Valentino, Ramon Novarro, and Sessue Hayakawa as representations of the term for early Hollywood - their respective iconographies suggestive of men who, while undoubtably handsome, were also noble, chivalrous, clean-cut. The same applies for the likes of a young Cary Grant, Gary Cooper and Clark Gable - these are men who are emblems of an old-fashioned "masculine" ideal - good looking, debonair, a smidge cocksure. Enter Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire - vulgar, villainous, biceps bulging out of his tight, sweaty undershirts - to screw shit up a bit.