Who Doesn’t Love Francis McDormand?

20 Oct

I suspect it would be unfair to extoll in detail the Frances McDormand /Lisa Cholodenko / Jane Anderson realization of Elizabeth Strout’s fine award-winning novel Olive Kitteridge two weeks before its HBO debut. But having now seen the complete four episodes of the mini-series, let me tickle your interest

Additionally there is a fine profile of MS McDormand in a recent New York Times:

During the production of “Olive,” she found herself more comfortable being wizened and grayed for the sequences when the Kitteridges are in their 70s than being blurred and buffed for when they’re in their 40s. To play those younger years, Mr. Jenkins, who is 67, was given tape to tighten loose skin below his jawline. She wasn’t, not at first.

Francis McDormand [photo: Alison Cohen Rosa for The New York Times]

Francis McDormand [photo:
Alison Cohen Rosa for The New York Times]

Then one day, after a camera test, Ms. Cholodenko pulled her aside and, as Ms. McDormand recalls it, nervously asked, “Did you ever read Nora Ephron’s essay about her neck?”
“Yes,” Ms. McDormand answered. “Give me the tape.”

“Then you know what I’m talking about?” Ms. Cholodenko said, relieved.

Ms. McDormand smiled as she remembered the exchange, explaining, “She thought she was going to have to give me this whole speech about how she was sorry I wasn’t looking young enough.”

Elizabeth Strout [photo:Robert Birnbaum]

Elizabeth Strout [photo:Robert Birnbaum]

On the other hand, it can not be said too often what a fine novel MS.Strout’s Olive Kitteridge is. Here’s a chat I had with her a while back

Here’s a fragment of our conversation:

RB: So inhabiting a character’s life for an extended period, it’s not a haunting experience?

ES: Well it is a haunting experience. It’s a strange experience. And I’ve though about this with each of my books, because they, in a huge way, do occupy me [within] my mind, and when I’m not writing about them I’m mulling over who they are and what they might do. And I live with them and love them for long periods of time and then they’re done, and I sort of can’t imagine they ever will be done, but then they are. And so far, luckily, there’s been another emergence of something else.

Currently reading The Rules of Wolfe by James Carlos Blake (The Mysterious Press)

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