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546 Ratings

Mommie Dearest

Directed by Frank Perry
United States, 1981
Drama, Biography


The relationship between Christina Crawford and her adoptive mother Joan Crawford is presented from Christina’s view. Unable to bear children, Joan, in 1940, was denied children through regular adoption agencies due to her twice divorced status and being a single working person.

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Mommie Dearest Directed by Frank Perry
Insensitive to any and all tenderness—and hypersensitive to imperfection—Faye-as-Joan is a perfect bitch and an absolutely flawless lunatic, which makes her as good at being an icon as it makes her awful at being a parent. If the Crawford mouth—a red, Fontana canvas slash of a maw—does not convey the image of a mother or a woman, it may be because Joan Crawford never wanted to be either: only a big, indelible star.
June 21, 2017
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The director Frank Perry, working with his first wife, Eleanor Perry, and other screenwriters, is distinguished mainly by his skill at eliciting enticingly florid yet intimately vulnerable performances from actors. It’s no surprise that he made one of the best films about a Hollywood star that the industry has yet produced.
May 31, 2017
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It’s telling that this film, ostensibly an adaptation of a memoir of a mother and daughter, often comes to life whenever it abandons this pretense and revels in the intoxicating power of Dunaway’s Joan. The best scenes of Mommie Dearest shouldn’t be here structurally, as Christina couldn’t have witnessed them, but they exemplify Dunaway’s formal dexterity, which mimics Crawford’s presentational acting and intensifies an editorial sense of the neurosis that empowered it.
March 01, 2017
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