Meg, Michelle and DDL: Great Acting is in the eye of the Beholder

The Age of Innocence turns 25 today. As someone who loves, admires and feels this film very deeply it’s been quite a year. Firstly with the Criterion Collection release; and now I’ve finally got the chance to see this classic Pfeiffer film on the big screen again. A week on Sunday at The Plaza Cinema in Stockport.This is one of two brilliant films from 1993 which dealt, in different ways, with two people in a love story which is never meant to be. There is such a sadness, such longing, and finally emptiness and regret in their endings. The 2nd film; which I also hope will gain Criterion Collection recognition, was Flesh and Bone.Part Southern Gothic, part screwball road movie, Steve Kloves’ grim prairie tale kicks up a very unique mood. The doomed romance between Dennis Quaid’s cowboy and Meg Ryan’s flibbertigibbet is so engrossing I tend to forget about the ending, so much so that I feel all the more devastated when I reach it once again.The fact both films saw the light of day in the same year with the same message done so well, is remarkable. I’ve often thought that a double feature of The Age of Innocence and Flesh and Bone would be the ultimate in viewer devastation.Great movies, great acting. Although as the years roll by I do wonder what ‘great acting’ even means. How do you judge it? Looking back over these films do I honestly think that Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer in The Age of Innocence were superior to Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan in Flesh and Bone?I still can’t pick a favourite. Perhaps the term ‘great acting’ is too subjective to ever really mean anything. The appreciation of a performance, like the enjoyment of motion pictures, will always be a matter of taste. These films are to my taste. Like Groundhog Day I can watch them over and over again.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Meg, Michelle and DDL: Great Acting is in the eye of the Beholder

  1. Flesh and Bone sounds a fabulous movie – I do love those movies with Quaid and Ryan when they were young and in love. Definitely want to suss this one out now as loved their chemistry in Innerspace and DOA years and years ago… how many movies did they do together??

  2. Great post 🙂 I bet you are going to just enjoy all of the goodies that the Criterion edition of The Age of Innocence provides (that is If you have a multi-region DVD player or If it is on Region 2). Still hard to believe that The Age of Innocence and Flesh and Bone are 25 years old isn’t it? Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    • I’m lucky I do have a multi-region DVD player, although I still don’t have many Criterion discs yet, just AOI, Days of Heaven, Ang Lee’s Ride with The Devil and my favourite of all Two-Lane Blacktop. I’m still hoping a Meg Ryan movie will feature in the collection sooner rather than later. I think When Harry Met Sally… would be the most likely choice, although I still hold out hope for Joe Versus the Volcano, Prelude to a Kiss or Flesh and Bone. Thanks as always for your thoughtful comments 🙂

  3. RB

    That scene from Flesh and Bone with them driving along the dusty Texas road is a masterpiece and affected me no end. F&B was like two different genres in one; I wish so much they had just stuck to the one.

  4. Wow, more movies I’ve never seen. What HAVE I been doing?

  5. Both Age Of Innocence and Flesh And Bone are cracking films. Age Of Innocence is one of the best period pieces I have ever seen. Michelle steals that film from everyone else in my opinion.

    Flesh And Bone features a very raw performance from Meg. I think that both she and Dennis Quaid did great work in this (James Caan was awesome too).

    Both of these films feature different types of acting, but the quality of the performances in both is equally excellent.

    Meg and Michelle are amongst the finest actresses of the 90’s. Both have different styles and pick different types of films, but both are great actresses.

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