When is a sexy film not about sex? When it’s a pulp thriller about depression era drifting through America’s darkest corners..
(spot the difference! Melissa /Jessica!)
THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE is a 1981 movie, the umpteenth adaptation of the 1934 novel by James M Cain. Bob Rafelson directed the picture, which explains why Jack Nicholson was a natural fit as leading man.
Contrary to certain critical accusations at the time, the movie did not fail. Nicholson was particularly clear about the fact that he made money from the feature.
It is a visceral, rough, dark film. The sense of desperation is there; the need, the loss, the sudden sense of survival. That translates into the sex scene that arguably defines the piece.
Yes, it begins as a quasi-sexual assault. But the woman takes control, at once emasculating and empowering the male and levelling the playing field.
As the kitchen is trashed and a thousand imitation sex scenes are born, the pornographic content is played to perfection by Jessica Lange, so kicking off the back and forth plot dynamics of him vs her. All amidst one attempted / botched murder and subsequently successful killing vs ensuing trial and karma to all concerned.
Jessica is one of the finest actresses of all time. Blue Sky is a masterclass in acting. I saw her play Blanche DuBois in 1996 in the West end in London. I still think she’d make an awesome Gertrude in Hamlet.
Melissa’s genius: to capture the essence of the character; source and adapt the correct costume, mimic Jessica’s look and yet still make the piece her own. DEFINITELY a genius name to watch, even as Cosplay events are on hold in some lockdown sectors.