For Nomad Widescreen, the Siren fulfills her longstanding threat to write up one of her all-time favorite performances from any actress in any movie: Joan Fontaine in Letter from an Unknown Woman. Nothing but the best for Glenn.
Lisa has been living in this shabby-genteel boarding house with her mother, a woman who seems nice enough but as ordinary as a bar of soap. We get glimpses of the girl’s routine: shapeless clothes, drab furniture, dim-witted playmates, a whole day set aside each week to beat the dust out of the rugs. Lisa is one of those creatures who sometimes arise in such an environment, intelligent and sensitive in a way wholly unsuited to the life laid out for her. And so she falls in love, not with a face or a voice, but with the sound of a piano. Lisa listens to Stefan’s practicing with an expression as ardent as any she shows later. When Lisa finally sees Stefan and pulls the door open for him — which Fontaine does not tenderly, but with a swift jerk — she isn't enamored for the first time. She is already in love, her feelings bound up with his music. His handsome face is just the fulfillment.
Elsewhere, at the New York Times the mighty Dave Kehr comes through with a beautiful piece on Hideko Takamine. The Los Angeles Times chimes in. And DJW at the consistently marvelous Lawyers, Guns and Money also gives the lady her due. Consider the Siren's heart warmed.