my name is mayukh sen and i'm a student at stanford university studying film, history, and creative writing (or something like that). i happen to like jane fonda. a lot. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
20. Julie Christie as Constance Miller in "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" (1971)
Saturday, July 3, 2010 8:13 PM
Christie made a name for herself personifying the female spirit of Swinging London – she was the carefree Liz of Billy Liar, the amoral Diana Scott of Darling, the perplexing title character of Richard Lester’s Petulia. And yet in McCabe & Mrs. Miller, we see Christie stripped bare of what we’ve known her for. She’s no longer the girl emblematic of the Swinging Sixties but now a stand-in for a different era’s mindset; in McCabe & Mrs. Miller, it’s the age of American frontierism. Her Mrs. Miller’s so unlike anything Christie’s ever played that we’re excited to see what she’ll do with this role, and it doesn’t seem she holds back – at no point in the film do I get that writhing feeling that she is “acting”. Rather, her Constance Miller is a contradiction she presents to us on the screen without hesitation – she is earthy but emotional, savage but maternal; she’s a woman who embodies the pragmatism of the American entrepreneurial spirit yet somehow also possesses the kind of tender, motherly qualities that others would expect of a woman of her time.
Throughout the film’s two hour duration, Christie’s a fleeting presence; we only see her appear, tangibly, in a few scenes. And yet she lingers in our mind – she lurks over the film like some sort of maternal presence; we get the feeling that she’s watching over everything with her practical, protective spirit. She’s not only a mother to her hookers, but a mother to the town’s potential for business; Constance is especially a mother of sorts to Beatty’s McCabe, whom she almost intimidates with her straightforwardness. We first meet Mrs. Miller when she approaches, in a sort of hostile way, McCabe, proposing a business offer; they strike up a deal over dinner at the local tavern, where Constance heartily devours this full meal. In Darling, she was childlike and attention-seeking; here, she couldn’t be more unlike Diana Scott. From this first encounter alone we realize what’s in store for the dynamics in this business relationship.
BEST ACTRESS 1986Kathleen Turner, Peggy Sue Got Married
Sigourney Weaver, Aliens
Sissy Spacek, Crimes of the Heart
Jane Fonda, The Morning After
Marlee Matlin, Children of a Lesser God
(SOME OF) MY FAVORITE BEST ACTRESS LOSERS, POST-1970Julie Christie, McCabe & Mrs. Miller
Penelope Cruz, Volver
Judy Davis, A Passage to India
Jane Fonda, Julia
Valerie Perrine, Lenny
Susan Sarandon, Atlantic City
Liv Ullmann, The Emigrants
Debra Winger, An Officer and a Gentleman
Debra Winger, Terms of Endearment
CreditsLayout by daphne/cadmium.
Banner/Icons by collapsingnight.
Winona drawing from Fanpop.