In ‘select’ theatres: Irene in Time
In Irene in Time, Tanna Frederick (here at the premiere) often had me thinking of Baby Jane Hudson’s “I’m Writing a Letter to Daddy”.
Henry is hung up on women and his present muse is Tanna Frederick. She follows Victoria Foyt, a one-time Mrs. Jaglom who gave excellent performances in Babyfever, Déjà Vu and Going Shopping. Tanna made her debut for Jaglom three years ago in Hollywood Dreams, and he probably committed more time and energy promoting her in that picture than perhaps anything he’d ever done before.
They’re back with Irene in Time (2009), about a woman with unresolved father issues, her failure in the dating game, and the comfort she takes in conversing with women and singing in a female band. Yes, it’s pure Jaglom, but Tanna is pure torture.
Apparently incapable of delivering ‘less’ to the camera, she plays at a level bordering on psychosis. The inverted concentration clouding her eyes, the overbearing mood swings, the overdone, giddy grimace: is the director exploiting the mentally ill? He certainly seems fixated on her ungainly schnoz: the poor woman is mercilessly photographed in profile.
Irene leads a one-woman crusade to ‘find’ her deceased father. He died when she was five- or six-years-old. (Lucky stiff!) Who was he? What was he? Questions that should’ve been addressed ages ago are hashed out to the point of tedium. Has this bovine wench been harboring destructive (incestuous?) obsessions for thirty-five years or more? (Tanna’s bio says she was born in 1979, but this ‘ingénue’ could be pushing forty.) By the time she pulls a Norman Maine at the finale, it feels as if a huge weight has been lifted.