Guest blogger Chelsea from Passion for Film writes:
An actress’ true essence is in her expression of emotion. The way she portrays the feelings of a character by a movement or a facial expression. The art of letting the audience feel the emotion without words. Michelle Pfeiffer has proven to be a master in this several times. I’m sure Michelle’s performances have made a lot of people cry. And even though I can’t cry at movies myself, these moments were heartbreaking.Take I Am Sam, for example.It’s always a surprise when you suddenly see a soft character getting a backbone. But it’s an even bigger shock when you see a cold character getting feelings, and Michelle did it perfectly. Her emotional breakdown towards Sam swept people away. That cold edge around Michelle’s character suddenly melts away and makes room for this blurt of emotion. If that’s not heartbreaking, what is?
The Deep End of the Ocean
I’m not a mother, so I can only imagine how it must feel like. Losing your child is the worst thing that could happen to a mother. The moment when you see the crust of bread in Michelle’s hand while she makes a face, just that look makes you feel empathy. And when she looks at her son’s picture and starts to have an attack, you get such a mixture of feelings: Shock, understanding, pity. Now that I think of it, this movie is very underrated…as is Michelle’s performance.
Actually, the whole last hour of this movie is sad, but the final conversation between Léa and Chéri is the real tearjerker. The complexity of Léa all falls together in the end. The real sadness lies in the realization that Léa loves Chéri so much that she lets him go. And the way she says, “You found an old woman.” One simple sentence is said with so much emotion and remorse. It really overwhelmed me and I even got goosebumps! Only she could do it that way. And talk about gripping looks! Léa’s look in the mirror at the end expressed it all.
The Age of Innocence
I’ve been longing to do a review on this one, but I want to wait for the right moment; this movie means a lot to me. The heartbreak, obviously, rests in the way Ellen and Newland can’t be together, even though it’s obvious they belong together. Michelle’s expressions and dialogue are what made Ellen. The way she resists the temptation and pretends the carelessness. Also, their chemistry is just right. The scene where Newland strips Ellen of her glove, followed by a passionate kiss, it just takes my breath away.
Frankie and Johnny
My favorite Pfilm; real, honest, heartbreaking. Michelle portrays an unhappy woman with a strong shield around her heart. That is, until the end of the film. The last scene–in which all her emotions come out–is really devastating. The heartbreak itself was short, because it does have a happy ending and it was so great to finally see her giving love another chance. But this movie wasn’t about the ending, it was about the journey of the characters during the film.
Up Close and Personal
From the moment you see Ned’s face, you know there’s something wrong. And when you see those boots, all you can do is scream, silently. But I don’t find Michelle’s crying and whispers in terror the saddest thing about this movie. The scene I find really touching is the very last scene, when she is going on stage to give a speech and sees her husband’s picture on the screen. Her look there is indescribable. So is her speech, which she gives as she goes. “My husband told me that, not so long ago.” Just the way she said that. So sincere and warm, with a look that tells you more than a thousand words.
Chelsea is an European teenager who spends her free time writing, reading and watching films. Passion For Film is a movie blog formed by her opinion.
What’s your favorite Michelle Pfeiffer film (or as Chelsea says, Pfilm)? Sound off in the comments!