403 Forbidden


nginx
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx
Follow us:
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx

Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

March 19, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Natasha Richardson: a sad goodbye

So many of us have been saddened this week by the sudden death of Natasha Richardson, of injuries sustained in a skiing accident. Richardson, who was just 45, leaves behind a great legacy of stage performance, including her Tony Award-winning work in “Cabaret,” her acclaimed Broadway debut in “Anna Christie,” and her run on London’s West End of “The Seagull,” alongside her mother Vanessa Redgrave. Acting ran in her blood: Richardson was also the granddaughter of Sir Michael Redgrave, the daughter of film director Tony Richardson, the niece of Lynn Redgrave, and the sister of Joely Richardson. She met her husband, Liam Neeson, when they co-starred in “Anna Christie.”
Richardson was a warm and vivid presence on screen, though her movie appearances were sporadic and no one film established her as that mysterious thing we call a movie star. Some will remember her as Lindsay Lohan’s mother in “The Parent Trap,”; the haunted title character of Paul Schrader’s “Patty Hearst,” the conflicted psychologist in “Nell.” I’ll most remember her for two more recent roles. In the drama “Evening,” released in 2007, she played the supporting role of a woman keeping vigil with her dying mother, played by her-real life mother. The two, with Richardson’s face a soft echo of Redgrave’s, had just a few scenes, but were mesmerizing together: The younger woman gazes determinedly at her fading mother, as if willing her to become her old self again. I remember being extremely moved by their scenes, which might well now be unbearably sad to watch.
And her final starring role, in Merchant/Ivory’s “The White Countess,” is appropriately a lovely one. The film (which already had the feeling of an elegy, as it was Ismail Merchant’s last) is set in ’30s Shanghai, with Richardson playing a poverty-stricken countess who charms a blind American businessman (Ralph Fiennes). Moving with regal posture and speaking in a voice delicately soaked in whiskey, Richardson’s character represented a glamorous world now fading away; something beautiful, now gone.

“The White Countess”; photo courtesy Sony Pictures Classics

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx