I have been on quite a Faye Dunaway kick recently. My viewings have confirmed my belief that even in her less famous (or, in the case of Mommie Dearest, infamous) film performances, she still commands the screen with personality and charisma that few actors can match.
Eyes of Laura Mars
I know that Ms. Dunaway has stated that she regrets starring in Mommie Dearest and credits it with ruining her career (which is understandable and, in many ways, accurate). However, rather than lay any blame at her feet, I prefer Allmovie’s interpretation that she gave an astonishing amount of commitment and intensity to her portrayal of Joan Crawford, but was unfortunately rewarded with utter incompetence on the part of the film-makers and other cast members. Nevertheless, even if she was unable to regain the screen supremacy that she held in the ’60s and ’70s, she still produced an all-time classic cult performance that will certainly never be forgotten. Furthermore, I feel that if she had not sacrificed some of her glamour and star status with this film, she might never have produced quirky and memorable performances such as the one she gives in Barbet Schroeder’s brilliant Barfly.