an actress as sparkling as perfectionist


Jamie Lee Curtis in “Blue Steel” (1990), by Kathryn Bigelow.

ARTE – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27 AT 11.40 P.M. – DOCUMENTARY

The Anglo-Saxon surnames “Lee” and “Curtis” are the most common. Except that, in the case of Jamie Lee Curtis, they are the prerogative of two immense stars of Hollywood cinema: his mother, Janet Leeforever a cry in the shower in Psychosis (1960), by Alfred Hitchcock, and his father, Tony Curtisforever a deep voice under the frills in Some like it hot (1959), from Billy Wilder.

Suffice to say that this unknown at the box office, in her debut as Laurie Strode, in Halloween (1978), by John Carpenter, was not really. Which did not prevent her from experiencing then, and for a long time in her career, not holes, but the difficulty of imposing herself in various roles and reaching the rank of leading lady. With this disability that constantly made her doubt herself.

This role will launch her while sticking to her skin, as stuck to the skin of the face of the indestructible serial killer Michael Myers, known as “The Shape”, the mask of terror which has haunted millions of spectators over the various links in this franchise. She will earn the nickname of scream queen (“queen of the cry”), dethroning her mother in this register.

One would have thought that Jamie Lee Curtis would do anything to escape this kind of job. But, as the documentary explains Jamie Lee Curtis, a cry for freedom in Hollywoodof Valérie Jourdan, she will gladly return there, resuming until 2018, in Halloween (2018) by David Gordon Green, the role of Laurie Strode of which she makes the victim of a trauma.

bulky parents

At the height of her career, she turns in a sitcom or wants to take care of her children; she plays the badass policewoman (in BlueSteelby Kathryn Bigelow, in 1990) but also clumsy strippers (in True Lies, by James Cameron, in 1994); she is a hit with one of the other films the general public associates her with, the hilarious A fish named Wanda (1988), by Charles Crichton.

Valérie Jourdan’s documentary is classic, even a little lazy: a chronological account with numerous excerpts from films and North American television archives with the actress. No unpublished interview with Jamie Lee Curtis or external contributions to complete the portrait.

What looks a bit like an A & E (Arts & Entertainment) show, however, does justice to this actress, as sparkling as she is a perfectionist, who ended up finding peace with herself, enjoying, as she says. , “of his own light”since the disappearance of his cumbersome parents and putting into practice what the filmmaker had once advised him terry gilliam : “Stop trying to be a good actress and just do what you know how to do. »

Jamie Lee Curtis, a cry for freedom in Hollywoodby Valérie Jourdan (Fr., 2022, 52 min.) On Arte.tv until April 25, 2023



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