That’s not my take on it at all.
This mini-series is not so much about the feud, but the story of how the movie industry uses women in their prime, then throws them out once they hit a certain age.
The first few episodes about Baby Jane
are fun, but the later episodes are heartbreaking to watch because you can see how much Joan fought for her right to a career in later life.
Some of the individual scenes are heartbreaking and speak volumes on how ageist Hollywood can be. Joan didn’t want to stop working. She didn’t want to fade away. She wanted to continue making successful movies, receive critical acclaim and continue being the star she had always been.
The show doesn’t touch upon it too much, but Joan was a star of the silent movie era and one of the few who successfully managed to find bigger stardom in the ‘talkies’. She was a movie star before talent was a requirement, and an even bigger star once she proved she also had talent in the talkies.
What the show highlights wonderfully is Joan’s frustration at an industry that knows she can act, but just isn’t interested because she got older. If she had to be a bitch in order to stand her ground, then I’m all for that - it’s better to be a bitch who wants something, rather than being a bitch because that’s who you are.
Once I’d finished the show I rewatched Baby Jane
and I think both give one hell of a performance, and I’m not sure it was fair to nominate one and not the other (a studio decision probably). What I found interesting is that this clearly isn’t Bette’s best performance, but it might be Joan’s.
Girls Aloud: only 4 years left of my decade long signature countdown to my dream 20th anniversary reunion tour...