Anjelica Huston, Enemies, a Love Story

Friday, April 08, 2005

Stanley Kauffmann

“The three women are the crown of the film….

“And then there is the woman who is rapidly becoming a new goddess of American film, Anjelica Huston. She is Tamara. It's hard to believe that it was only in 1985, in Prizzi's Honor, that Huston gave her first truly visible performance. In little more than four years she has shown a range that to American woman except Meryl Streep can equal, and range is only part of the matter. Huston has been, without exception, first-class in everything.

“From our first glimpse of her here, she is the buffeted, sardonic, sexual Tamara--liberated by what she has been through--as surely as she was Joyce's Gretta in The Dead. Her face and her voice, seemingly created anew each time, have the true actor's magic: in addition to all else, they inspire a kind of confidence. (She will be this woman, we think: she already is this woman.) One of the film world's chief jobs, I would say, is to find adequate roles for Huston. Along with Streep, her presence is a stroke of luck that needs celebration-by-use for years to come….

Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic, date ?

Pauline Kael

“….Singer constructed a post-Holocaust sex farce with three passionately jealous women in love with a stealthy, guilt-ridden man. It's about refugees who are lost, who go on living in New York and chasing each other into bed after they've vanished from their lives. The director, Paul Mazursky, has gathered a superbly balanced cast and has kept the action so smooth that the viewer is carried along on a tide of mystical slyness. It's overwhelming.

“…. It's a situation out of a classic boudoir farce, but Herman and his three wives--Tamara, the witchlike, seductive mother figure, with black-dyed hair; Yadwiga…; Masha…--are not the characters we're accustomed to seeing in Frenchy bedrooms….

“Anjelica Huston's Tamara feels dead because her children are dead (though they return in her dreams and that invigorates her); she's a strong, capable woman, with an erotic aura, an accented, Garboesque voice, and knowing, side-long glances…. The characters go in circles, getting themselves into sex in order to forget other things and then waking up back where they were. Mazursky pulls the rug out from under us, and we drop through the farce.”

Pauline Kael
New Yorker, date ?
Movie Love, pp. 229-232

David Edelstein

"Apart from some awkward extras, Mazursky gets rich, incisive performances.... Olin has the same breathtaking sensuality she had in "The Unbearbable Lightness of Being" but with something furious behind it--she's a moth in love with the flame that will incinerate her...."

“At first Huston's Tamara hobbles out of the shadows, wearing a look of hope that's swiftly extinguished by Herman's unease. Guarded and wisecracking thereafter, she can't help but let the sadness and anger blled through her skin, mixing it with humor when it does. Huston's Tamara is the movie's emotional anchor--a great performance.”

David Edelstein
New York Post, December 13, 1989