Friday, March 20, 2009

Signatures: Mia Farrow

Adam of Club Silencio here with another look at my favorite actresses and their distinguishing claims to fame.


I'm the wife, you know. I take care of the kids, I host the dinner parties, arrange the social schedule... Try to look pretty so your friends can admire your taste. I've become one of those women who shops all day and gets pedicures, but I want to be more. There's more to me.

-Alice

Mia Farrow really is extraordinary. A special talent who's almost always the exception in her films. Check your calendar - it's not every day you're selected to carry Satan's child. Mia's characters are often everyday women faced with great dilemmas and grandiose choices; not because she's equipped to handle them, but because she's really just better than us.

Rosemary Woodhouse is a perfect example. It's the singular role that would define much of Mia's early career... and a kicky new hairstyle. Born and bred a Catholic schoolgirl in Omaha, Rosemary couldn't be more enchanting and fresh-faced, so it's no wonder Satan took a second glance.


Scattered amongst Woody Allen's best works are some of Mia's finest and most exceptional women. It helps that her performances are cast with such a loving, graceful glow... at least for heft of their lengthy collaboration. Mia's often our sympathetic outsider, who's often the fixation of everyone outside her. Even when her characters are behaving badly, everyone's still drawn to her like a hyper-articulate and well-balanced magnet. Maybe it was Woody's feelings for her at the time, and maybe it's that Mia's strength lies in that everyday mystery.

Take for example her inoculated introspection via Chinese herbs in Alice that sends us through the looking glass of her mundane upper-crust existence. Only Mia could turn a bad trip into a total transformation from metropolitan mom into Mother Teresa. Mia should probably stop taking strange herbs from her on-screen counterparts, but we can rest assured something extraordinary will happen.


Her presence alone is magic. She's served as a mystical and revelatory alter-ego in Another Woman, the fourth wall in female form in The Purple Rose of Cairo... and being emotionally and financially stable was outstanding enough for Hannah and Her Sisters. Jon Cusack offered up $700 for just an hour alone with her! The woman's got powers.

22 comments:

Pablete said...

Mia Farrow is ravishing in every sense! Her performances are always as delicious as a "gauteau." And, what about those enchanting, widely enormous blue eyes (beautifully photographed in "Rosemary's Baby")? Thank Heaven for this Wonderful Fairy!

Bing147 said...

You don't even mention, for my money, 2 of her 3 best performances. I think she steals every scene she's in in both Radio Days and Crimes and Misdemeanors. She's also fantastic in September even if the film is a bit crap.

Bing147 said...

You don't even mention, for my money, 2 of her 3 best performances. I think she steals every scene she's in in both Radio Days and Crimes and Misdemeanors. She's also fantastic in September even if the film is a bit crap.

adam k. said...

Okay, I'm just gonna copy and paste my comment from the non-existent BSG thread here, so Nat will see:

"AM I THE ONLY ONE HERE??? GAAAAAAH

Dude. Nathaniel. You missed out.

(btw, it looks like they're replaying the whole thing again right now)"

adam k. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam said...

I love all of those you mention Bing147 - and others like "Broadway Danny Rose." Too many to mention in my humble post. Blame it on Mia and not me, she's just too good.

Alex said...

I met Mia last summer in New York at a benefit dinner for Holocaust education (she was there introducing Nicholas Kristoff, a journalist being honored for his Darfur work). We talked for a bit and, as I suspected, she is just one of those celebrities who is just so down to Earth. What a classy lady.

Adam said...

Also "Husbands and Wives" ...That is all.

jimmy said...

pretty spooky in "The Omen".....seems like a really wonderful person. plus - sinatra. how much better can you get.

mrripley said...

husbands and wives is her best role of the alst 20 years.

The monkey that smells said...

Please, Woody, write a great role for Mia!!!!!!!!!!!

LOL.

Chris Na Taraja said...

I just saw that aweful remake of the Omen, but Mia was amazing in it.

brianmaru said...

You got to love this woman. So talented.

NATHANIEL R said...

I ♥ Mia.

Her best work:

ROSEMARY'S BABY
ALICE
PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO

those three in no particular order if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

amazing actress, fantastic career as well... Alice and Rosemary's Baby are one of my favourite films ever

Paul Outlaw said...

She does the best Woody-substitute performance of all time in Alice.

cal roth said...

No way, Paul Outlaw. The best WA performance is clearly Judy Davis' turn in Husbands and Wives. It's still the best supporting performance in American movies since Christopher Walken in The Deer Hunter.

NATHANIEL R said...

cal... i think he meant Woody subsitute performance. It's like a subgenre ;)

Paul Outlaw said...

Most definitely. Some people like John Cusack as the best substitute Woody, but there are so many scenes in Alice (like the ones in Chinatown) where Mia knocks it out of the park. Every gesture, every inflection is Woody, but somehow better. It kills me.

SigLNY said...

Favorite Mia roles: husbands and wives and, HANDS DOWN her best role, Broadway Danny Rose.

Mark said...

There is always something about Ms. Farrow that always manages to mesmerize me. I do hope she gets to make more movies for she is really talented, her performances so naturalistic and effortless without seeming to try so hard.

Anonymous said...

November 24th/2009

ROSMARY'S BABY

Please lovely Lady accept this first communique to a first rate Actress I feel also sang in a contempt Film;

Recently; I have had a view of this satanic horror which I compare to Carrie;

The acting is more than convincing,
I applaud the New York entry;

Why I am alone is due to Mamowe tampering;

For me you have a quality look that's nurturing and I need a woman for a friend who needs a mind committed to establishing true partnership including getting me out of the poor-house and into a wealthy care which Canada is not to me!

Now for the movie: this is to me a lot what all Southern Pentecostal people I have encountered. Being handed phoney Catholic Registries in my opinion I found my perfect separated wife Ms Janet Ellen Simon.

I adore my kids son and daughter and I oppose all children agencies who according to my gut sense are enemy to the marital and for proof ask Region 6 why my marriage was interfered with?

William Castle Enterprises Incorporated is a cold mountain of film to my information at hand and I like a Herr Goering was central in establishing order in Dresden, Germany all those in DAY-CARE then relied on blood of kin for shelter, not conniving staff who wed nil and my stomach informs eat sparse and proudly I ate the finest meals from my blood mother, a Ms Margaret Ban who worked on fatigue and out-wright owns her home well made!

I find your film roles documentary in theme and your realism is entrancing, I have just written to a Ms Bernadette Peters I find a value including you as women of power!

Please feel free to look up my name when you may land in our Capital Alberta City for tea, depending on the day for me (I enjoy the black Joe in the morning, mostly)!

How to please the angry Man:

Please provide a lot of food;
Give a lot of beer and steak;
And show him how to smile naked;
And give a lot of money when you come home;
And finally don't burp 'till he commands!!

I thank you with a smile for your talent.