movie film review | chris tookey
harsh reviews
An A to Z of the World's Deadliest Movie Reviews From Affleck
to Zeta Jones
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Sandy Dennis
Actress, The Fox (1968)
Pauline Kael has aptly observed that Miss Dennis has “made an acting style out of postnasal drip." It should be added that she balances her postnasal condition with something like prefrontal lobotomy, so that when she is not a walking catarrh she is a blithering imbecile. She has carried that most repugnant of Method devices — taking one or two trial runs on every sentence, if not phrase, one utters — to the level of a tic: her every line of dialogue issues in triplicate ready to be notarized. Superimpose on this a sick smile befitting a calf's head in a butcher's shop, an embryonic laugh that emerge s as an aural stillbirth, and an epic
case of fidgets, and you have not so much a performance as a field trip for students of clinical psychiatry.
(John Simon, National Review)
Actress, A Touch of Love (1969)
A Sandy Dennis picture is always in a category by itself: an excuse for displaying the persona of Sandy Dennis, which is inexcusable. Having come to the end of the road with her early phase, the totem-pole school of acting (one horrible face on top of another), Miss Dennis now affects the minimalist mode: an all-purpose budding sensitivity arrested in mid-development. Through most of the picture Miss Dennis sports the expression of a fly trying to be stoical about having been caught in amber, but there are muted undercurrents of the old tics, twitches, and congested sinuses. In addition, at judiciously spaced intervals all stops are pulled from the vocal cords and facial muscles and, once again, the art of the tremolo and the palpitating lip storms the very heavens. Thank you very much, but no thanks.
(John Simon, National Review)
Key to Symbols