Selasa, 14 Desember 2010

Robert Markowitz - Voices (1979)


VOICES is the only feature film that television director Markowitz has ever made. Working with first time screenwriter John Herzfeld (who would go onto to write and direct the unfortunate John Travolta-Olivia Newton-John film TWO OF A KIND (1983)) and with a score by legendary composer and songwriter Jimmy Webb, VOICES tells the tale of a frustrated and struggling Hoboken singer who meets and falls in love with a young deaf teacher who dreams of being a dancer.

VOICES is essentially a two character study piece, the kind of romantic film that could have only come out of the seventies. It isn't a great film but it is a good one that is blessed with two extraordinary performances with Michael Ontkean's sensitive portrayal as the dreaming and lonely Drew and Amy Irving' incredible near silent work as Rosemarie.

Ontkean has always been an underrated actor and VOICES features on of his best performances. He had just finished up the 1977 hit SLAP SHOT opposite Paul Newman when he began to prepare for the difficult role of the singer Drew. The future TWIN PEAKS Sherriff Truman is very handsome here and brings a real honesty to a role that could have been a simple caricature.

Drew's disfunctional Hoboken family that he lives with features accomplished character actor Alex Rocco as his gambling father Frank and Barry Miller as his younger troubled brother Raymond. The film is filled with many good supporting turns and it is the acting and solid direction by Markowitz that overcomes the slightly cliched script.

Amy Irving is wondrous in the role of Rosemarie. With only a few lines of dialogue she manages to sell every emotion with just her body movements and facial expressions. It is too her credit that she never overplays the role, something that would have most definitely happened in the hands of many lesser actresses. The 24 year old Irving is a model of restraint throughout the entire film and when she finally does let out an anguished scream, it turns out to one of the most jolting and moving points in the whole feature.

VOICES was shot just after Irving's incredible turn in Brian De Palma's THE FURY (1978), one of the great performances in all of American genre cinema, and VOICES continues the great winning streak she was on as one of America's premiere young actresses of the seventies. [From Moon in the Gutter by Jeremy Richey]

no pass

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