Monday 27 June 2016

Best Leading Actress 1981: Katherine Hepburn - On Golden Pond

The first thing that is needed to be said about On Golden Pond is that it's quality depends on the two leading performances. The filmmakers should have this issue worked out, because they had cast Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, living legends of their times. Luckily, both of them could handle roles that required their wonderful performances.
Between Fonda and Hepburn there is an excellent screen chemistry. Sometimes they're better than an actual couple would have been. They act so well together, I have never had a problem believing that they had spent their lives together.
Hepburn, as well as Honda are both able to be very funny and charming in the first half an hour of the film, without making their roles a caricature. They create real human characters, whose life isn't easy at its edge, yet they use humour to handle all of their troubles.
There could have be a bit problem for an actress playing this part to be overshadowed by the Fondas and their real relationship that got so mirrored into this film. But Hepburn never allows that to happen. She fits Fondas very well and it seems as if they had lived together for a long time. I even didn't have problem believing that Hepburn had raised Chelsea (Jane Fonda).
Though her performance sometimes is just reactionary, Hepburn never failed to create a real human character out of it. And even though there are moments (especially at the end of the film) that she overplays a bit, it's always in favor of the character. What she was able to achieve, along with Henry Fonda is that we really like her character Ethel and even create a relationship with her. Somehow we will miss her after the film ends and that's a proof of her wonderful performance.
All right, it might not be the showiest part for an actress to play and it's not even Hepburn's juiciest role. But it's so adorable and simply irresistable that you absolutely understand, why she won her fourth Oscar for it.