Sunday, August 29, 2010

Here's Looking at You.

Jose here.

Ingrid Bergman passed away on a day like today, 28 years ago. It was also her 67th birthday.
You have to be one classy human being, to pass away on the day you were born in. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to be disrespectful, what I'm trying to say is that this unfortunate coincidence works as a perfect metaphor to encompass the gracefulness, elegance and tact that Ms. Bergman embodied.

Ever so concise, effortlessly direct and charmingly pragmatic, she made a career for herself based on quite economical acting.
Tell me, is there any other actor who never appeared to make a false step onscreen? Even in not so good films like Anastasia and Under Capricorn, there is not a single thing Ms. Bergman did that did not seem authentic.
Disguising her broken heart in Casablanca she makes fools out of Humphrey Bogart, Paul Henreid and us. In Autumn Sonata she makes us despise her coldness but wonder what made her this way and in the haunting Europa '51 she becomes almost saintlike without losing her humanity.

Tonight, when, and if, you're watching the Emmys, remember that in her very last performance, she played Golda Meir in the made for television special A Woman Called Golda.
There with the same effortlessness she relied on throughout her legendary career she plays a woman who made leading an entire country, in the midst of economic, political and societal turmoil, seem like the easiest thing in the world.
It might not be my favorite performance of hers but watching it and realizing that the actress behind the makeup was terminally ill, has much to say about the way in which Bergman devoted herself to the character.
It was never about her.

May she rest in peace.


Joe said...

She's probably my favorite actress of all time. And I LOVE actresses.

Seeing her elegance on screen, both in her day and ours, is quite rare and she's in a class of her own.

However, I've always hated that the Oscars gave her wins for the wrong performances (ignoring her for Casablanca wholly and rewarding her for "Murder on the Orient Express" rather than giving it to her for "Autumn Sonata."

jbaker475 said...

A gorgeous and classy lady through and through, and a talented one at that. She will, always and forever, be a true example of what it means to be a star (that said, I agree with what Joe said about her Oscar wins).

LolitaNabokov said...

Hate the oscars, not the actress ;-).

Love how she acknowledged Valentina Cortesa in her oscar speech, indicating she found it all a charade.

karl said...

There's something bourgeois about Bergman that no contemporary Hollywood actress possesses. But I also think we're in a more populist era. Bergman lived at a time where people wanted to see "high society people".

Kidman could have bee the modern Bergman but she understood society had changed, therefore she went "country" with Keith Urban and her recent choice of outfits makes me think she wants to be perceived more as a down-to-earth kind of gal.

Tan said...

She was wonderful. I really love her.

Thank you for the post.

RIP Ingrid

Burning Reels said...

Love her performance in Notorious.