SWEET DREAMS (1985). By Czech-born Britisher Karel Reisz (THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN.) As singer Patsy Cline, Jessica Lange gives an extraordinary performance, perhaps the best of the year and of her career.
Her voice, delivery, inflections, body English and non-stop little inventions are mesmerizing . Film deals with last seven years of Patsy's life, until her death in a plane crash at age 30, when she was very close to superstar status. Those were the years when the singer ditched her first husband, married Charles Dick (an excellent Ed Harris, also perhaps in his best performance), a boozing, philandering, unstable redneck. The couple's tempestuous relationship is the movie's main thread. Connoisseurs will detect poetic licenses taken with time, facts , the relative weight of events, etc., but the acting (by all involved), the production values, the authenticity of the milieu are superior. Songs are original Cline tracks, digitally remastered to keep the voice but add new backup singers and instrumentalists. Additional period music by others ( Sinatra , Sam Cooke , the Harptones, et al.) enhances mood without competing with Patsy. A wonderful yet underrated movie. This is where the "enemies" of the silver screen,videos and cable,can come to the rescue and popularize a superior but overlooked movie. (Edwin Jahiel)
[Publ.Aug 21 87]