May Flowers, evenings at 11
It's not a crime to look at Lange. So herewith, Frances Farmer in her prime (surrounded by... hmm, levitating flowers?) and the woman who played her in 1982's Frances, Jessica Lange. There are no flowers in this old photograph of Lange but I think you'll agree that she was in full bloom.
I've never seen any of Frances Farmer's movies (she didn't make many. Any suggestions?) so maybe that was a minor obstacle for me, but I am not a fan of the film. But I do enjoy a good Old Hollywood biopic. It's the one type of biopic that holds immediate appeal for me. So, can we please get some more of them about old Hollywood? Like... a lot more of them. Let's immortalize the immortals.
Didn't you love those lavish scenes in The Aviator when Jude Law was pretending to be Erroll Flynn and Cate Blanchett was pretending to be Katharine Hepburn and neither of them had to break a sweat to drip Old Hollywood charisma? I almost wish Scorsese had let a few other directors onto those sets to film other Old Hollywood biopics simultaneously.
But back to Frances... If the 1982 movie is to be believed Ms. Farmer was a self sabotaging volatile handful. Have you ever stopped to wonder which of today's superstar actresses are actually crazy people under their carefully constructed public personæ? On that note, you know there'll be an Angelina Jolie biopic by 2056!
My vote for a modern actress that deserves a stellar bio is Mia Farrow. My vote for an old Hollywood glamor movie (a la The Aviator) is Jean Harlow or -- I'm too predictable -- Norma Shearer... but especially if Joan Crawford figures prominently in that screenplay.
What's your dream movie star bio?