Rear from Tandy, full frontal and rear from Fonda, albeit far from the
Camilla is the story of
the friendship between an eccentric elderly violinist and a young woman
who aspires to write music. The elderly woman (Jessica Tandy) looks back
upon her yellowed clippings and draws upon her ancient memories as part
of the process of imparting her wisdom to the young 'un, so it plays out
sort of like Titanic Light. The acting is terrific, although the movie
itself is kind of an artificial three-hanky chick-flick, and plays out
like a TV movie of the week.
As an example of the
contrived melodrama, Ms. Tandy finds the long-lost love of her life
before the end of the film, and does so almost by accident. And at her
age, long-lost is very long indeed.
The most unusual and
probably the most memorable element of the film is that Jessica Tandy
did a nude scene in "Camilla", the only nude scene of her career. She
was 84 or 85 when she did the scene, and she had died by the time the
film was released.
"Hey, that isn't
beautiful or sexy, Scoop"
No, of course it isn't
sexy, but beautiful ... well, "beautiful" is more complicated.
Ms Tandy was one of the
great stage actresses of the 20th century, and owned a film resume that
spanned 63 years and includes a Best Actress Oscar. She was a great and
gutsy woman who continued to perform as long as she could stand, and
continued to do so very well. Brilliantly, in fact.
Tandy knew she was
dying when she made this movie.
She and her husband of
52 years, Hume Cronyn, appeared together in this film, knowing it would
be the last of the thousands of times they shared the spotlight. During
the film, Tandy and Cronyn recited to one another a quote from Sea Fever
by John Masefield:
"And quiet sleep and a
sweet dream when the long trick's over".
If that isn't
beautiful, then what is?