Saturday, January 23, 2010

R.I.P Angel Face

One of the loveliest and talented ladies of the silver screen, Jean Simmons, has passed away today. She starred in many a classic, including Laurence Olivier's Hamlet, in which her Ophelia is oh so enchanting and ethereal. At a similar point she was also quite recognisable as Kanchi in Powell & Pressburger's Black Narcissus.

The film that perhaps really made me sit up and pay attention to Jean was her comedic turn in The Grass is Greener. Amongst the likes of of Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum, she ran away with the film. As Hattie Durant, Jean was deliciously kooky.

Her engaging presence and talent probably peaked in the 50s - one of my favourite performances is her femme fatale turn in Angel Face, where she comes off as both vulnerable and dangerous. She was also in Guys and Dolls and The Big Country. In 1960 she gave a truly haunting performance as Sister Falconer in Elmer Gantry. She received two Oscar nominations - one for Hamlet and the other for The Happy Ending, but I firmly believe she deserved more.

I hope Jean is forever remembered for all she has given to cinema. R.I.P dear lady.