If you're watching Feud, you're probably enjoying it. It has flashes of brilliance, mostly attached to Jessica Lange.
I'm not crazy about Susan Sarandon in this project because she seems intimidated by Bette Davis, and it comes out in her timidity when speaking. It's like she's scared to be a parody, so she winds up being a weak imitation.
I did enjoy the fairly accurate recreation of Bette's undignified promo activities in singing on The Andy Williams Show.
Just realized that B.D. Hyman (who should be grateful she's being given a highly symp-aesthetic portrayal in Feud: Bette and Joan, in which she's played by gorgeous Kiernan Shipka), Bette Davis's daughter, has actually stated that her mother practiced witchcraft.
Literally, the born-again minister (!) has said her mom was a witch.
Check out Inside Edition's rehashing of this other feud ...
Bette & Julie, Joan & Gina (Image via Warner Bros.)
I'm very much enjoying Feud. I think Jessica Lange is sublime as Joan Crawford, and while Susan Sarandon is not up to the challenge of filling Bette Davis's shoes (she often sounds like she's trying to sound tough), she's not terrible and has her moments.
Lange as Crawford (Image via FX)
Overall, it's an entertaining look at a fantastic film's fascinating journey from desperate ploy to stay relevant to greatness. Gossipiy? Sure.
West German lobby card (Image via Warner Bros.)
It made me wonder a bit about the cast of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) Of course, Crawford died in 1977 and Davis in 1989, and I remembered when Victor Buono — so deliciously desperate as Edwin Flagg in the movie — died very young, at age 43, in 1982. (Impossible to fathom that he was in his early twenties in Jane!)
There were very few other memorable faces in the film, but among them, future soap diva Anna Lee made an impression as the warring sisters' neighbor (she died at 91 in 2004), and of course Maidie Norman was wonderful as the righteous housekepper Elvira (she died at 85 in 1998).
Maidie as Crawford's smart-as-a-whip secretary in Torch Song. (Video still via MGM)
Norman had previously worked with Crawford on Torch Song (1953) — yes, the movie in which Crawford donned blackface:
Sisters... sisters... (Images by Matthew Rettenmund)
I was invited to an early screening of Ryan Murphy's highly anticipated FX series Feud: Bette and Joan at Hardware in NYC last night, all about the making of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962).
Unfortunately, there was a technical snafu that delayed the showing too long for my schedule, so like Jessica Lange's Feud co-star Susan Sarandon did with logic and reason, I abandoned ship. Rigged! Rigged!
I did not, however, keep my promise to live-tweet my disappointment, which might've been appropriate considering the animosity between the film's subjects, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. I guess my passivity may have indicated it was okay to fuck with me, fellas, but I'd like to go on the record stating it is not.
Dude: Pixie & Bootsie
Still, I had fun with my pal, and one thing that wasn't a drag was the floor show by the talented ... let's go with ladies ... Pixie Aventura and Bootsie Lefaris. Pixie scored with the audience by combining Whitney Houston with Viola Davis (using Fences in ... let's go with ... her ... act! For a bottom, she's downright topical):
Feud: Bette and Joan airs on FX beginning March 5 at 10 p.m. In spite of how you may feel about Sarandon, I'm pretty sure you're going to watch it.