August 3, 2015

Corinne Griffith, The Divine Lady


It's funny how rewatches matter, especially when you've become a little more mature in life. I think that the first time I watched The Divine Lady, I was too preoccupied with the fact that I hated silent films, and in turn I think it caused me to tune in and out of the picture, thereby missing elements of Corinne Griffith's performance. Hers is a peculiar instance in that her nomination isn't always acknowledged, but Griffith makes a fine Lady Hamilton. Starting off as an upbeat and uncultured young lady, she radiates off the screen with a girlish nature that makes you feel all lightened up. The transition into refined and regal Lady Hamilton is a bit abrupt; there is no sense to gradual ease in this, and thus we are subjected to Griffith suddenly becoming a more mature character. I did find that she handles these scenes as the Lady Hamilton quite well; she brings a surprising amount of emotion to the film, tears swelling up in her eyes at all the right moments. But ultimately, I enjoyed her much more this time around. I found her to be quite a charming presence on the screen, and even if she spends several shots too many near the second half of the flick looking utterly exasperated by all that is going on with her, it's the scenes where she's a fragile, hopeless romantic that makes the entire performance worthwhile.

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