Sunday, December 25, 2011

III.i. The Nunnery Scene - A Midwinter's Dream

Because A Midwinter's Dream is all about putting on a performance of Hamlet on Christmas, there is no better day to post this entry. In the film, the play passes by very quickly, with clips from the most famous scenes, but they still yield some interesting, and often amusing, staging ideas. In this case, Ophelia follows "there my lord" with a throwing of the gifts and a powerful slap across the face! There's an in-film, off-stage motivation for this, of course. Nina (Ophelia) and Joe (Hamlet) had been exhibiting feelings for one another, and when Joe left to do a big movie in America on the night of the premiere, she felt betrayed. He comes back to do the play, but the betrayal still stands between them. Nina "uses" it, as they say, and makes her feelings, Ophelia's. While there are some Ophelias, like Zeffirelli's, that play it cross more than sad, no other achieved this kind of passionate fury. I'd love to see if such a portrayal could be sustained in the full context of a production.

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