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Mask (1985)

Director:
Peter Bogdanovich

COUNTRY
USA

Genre
Drama/Biographical

NORWEGIAN TITLE
Masken

RUNNING TIME
120 minutes

Producer:
Martin Starger

Screenwriter:
Anna Hamilton Phelan


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Florence "Rusty" Dennis Cher
Gar Sam Elliott
Roy L. "Rocky" Dennis Eric Stoltz
Evelyn Steinberg Estelle Getty -
Abe Steinberg Richard Dysart -
Diana Adams Laura Dern
Babe Micole Mercurio -
Red Harry Carey, Jr. -
Dozer Dennis Burkley -
Ben Lawrence Monoson -

 

Review

Rocky Dennis (19611978) was an American boy who suffered from an extremely rare disease known as craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, causing facial disfigurings which are ultimately fatal. And this film directed by Peter Bogdanovich is a fitting tribute to his life and being. His positive, encouraging outlook on life shines through and transcends the narrative thanks to Eric Stoltz' complete performance and Bogdanovich's sensitive direction. But it's the screenplay by Anna Hamilton Phelan, who met Mr. Dennis and his mother during the 1970s, which gives the film heart and a sense of realism in the midst of what is an obvious Hollywood biopic structure. Bogdanovich is an idealist, so there's a message movie trying to creep out from this piece, but Phelan's strong writing ensures the various scenes and segments stand firmly on their own. They come off as tranches de vie which accumulated tell the story of a short life well lived, something his mother Rusty was a key enabler for. She's portrayed as a complex, warm, flawed human being, played with passion and understanding by Cher. It's one of the best female roles of the 1980s.

Copyright 21.03.2021 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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