Tuesday, October 27, 2015
The Scarlet Letter (Victor Sjöström, 1926)
La Bohème, and it suggests that her talents were better suited to a contemplative director like Victor Sjöström -- or Seastrom, as MGM insisted on anglicizing his name -- than to King Vidor's more action-oriented style. If her Mimi in La Bohème was disturbingly hyperactive, her Hester Prynne is a marvel of understated acting. She uses her eyes and mouth and the tilt of her chin to convey a miraculous range of emotions, from stubbornness to fear, from strength to frailty. It's a pity that her Dimmesdale, Lars Hanson, doesn't match her in subtlety. He's more successful in this regard in their 1928 collaboration The Wind, which was also directed by Sjöström.