And we have another member of the ‘I’m glad this actress has an Oscar but why did it have to be for this movie?’ club.
In Shampoo, Lee Grant plays Felicia Carr, the bored society wife of a politician and one of the many mistresses of Warren Beatty (I lost track how many times she has sex with him during the movie).
Now the not so good things: Despite the fact that Lee Grant gives all she has in this role, she totally misses what all the others have: charm. Shampoo is a light comedy and Goldie Hawn, Julie Christie and Warren Beatty can make that work, but Lee Grant can’t. Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn also have much more chemistry and screen presence – and, on top of that, better roles that require much more emotional and intellectual acting.
It’s almost thrilling to see Lee Grant take such a throwaway-role and fill it with life but at the same time her combination of missing screen-presence and lack of screen-time make it hard for her to stand out – even in an overall rather lifeless movie like Shampoo. It’s frustrating that Lee Grant, despite all her efforts, remains so incredibly pale – as I said, she tries very hard but can only go so far and, at the end of the day, it seems rather shocking that a majority of Academy members actually thought that this was an Oscar-worthy performance.
An actress with more natural charm and a stronger screen-presence might have done more in this role but ultimately, even the most talented actress could not have overcome the limitations of the script and the part. In this way, Lee Grant did a respactable job – but hardly praiseworthy.