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A young woman gets killed in an accident trying to meet her favorite actress Myrtle Gordon after a play. Then Myrtle Gordon felt responsible for the killing leading her down to an emotional crisis that interferes with her professional work as an actress.Written by
Chemi González <email@example.com>
Many reviews here explain the story and characters of 'Opening Night' in some detail so I won't do that. I just want to add my comment that I believe the film is a wonderful affirmation of life.
At the beginning Myrtle Gordon is remembering how 'easy' it was to act when she was 17, when she had youth and energy and felt she knew the truth. Experience has left her emotionally fragile, wondering what her life has been for and, indeed, if she can even continue living. A tragic accident triggers a personal crisis that almost overwhelms her.
Almost - but not quite. At the eleventh hour she rediscovers the power of her art and reasserts herself ("I'm going to bury that bastard," she says of fellow actor Maurice as she goes on stage). It seems almost sadistic when Myrtle's director prevents people from helping her when she arrives hopelessly drunk for her first performance. He knows, however, that she has to have the guts to make it herself if she is to make it at all.
Some critics wonder if this triumph is just a temporary pause on Myrtle's downward path. I believe this is truly her 'opening night' - she opens like a flower to new possibilities of life and action, she sees a way forward. It is tremendously moving.
Gena Rowlands is superb. The film is superb. Thank you, Mr Cassavetes, wherever you are.
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