directed by Robert Greene, 2014
Opening with a tableau of a woman dressed in red, standing over her kitchen sink with her back to the camera, Robert Greene’s (Kati with an I, Fake It So Real) latest documentary, Actress, almost immediately establishes itself as a dizzying non-fiction force to be reckoned with. The woman in question is Brandy Burre, the subject of Actress, who stands still with the water running, while also clumsily toying with a glass in her right hand. Brandy’s voiceover narration in this opening passage informs us that she “tends to break things,” a recurring symbol of her fight to regain the creative outlet she’s being pining to return to for a long while for: acting. While not a particularly memorable opening shot in terms of aesthetics, this sort of stylized vérité filmmaking that offers an immediate glimpse into the headspace of a frazzled housewife is then counterbalanced by the next scene: Brandy wakes up early in the morning as any mother would and proceeds to get her two young children, Henry and Stella, ready for the day. Actress is supremely dynamic in the blending of the utterly banal with the dreamy and heightened. To watch this interplay unfold is nothing short of revelatory.
Read full review at In Review Online