Steel Magnolias : Preferred cast: 1989 vs 2012

Preferred cast: 1989 vs 2012

Over all, I am disappointed in the new version as a whole. There were tiny little aspects that I managed to pull out of it that I liked a little better than the original. Much of it in the performances of the actors.

M'LYNN: Probably the one character I was equally torn on. Let's just say that when it came to the two most heartbreaking scenes in the film, each held a favorite with me. At the scene of Shelby's death, I think Queen Latifah pulled it off with the level of emotion that it deserved. Her daughter died, Watching Sally Field in this scene, it looked more like her bundt cake fell in the oven. HOWEVER, no one, not even Queen Latifah could match the breakdown scene (originally at Shelby's funeral). We can't fault her for it, It just can't be done. I have to call it a tie, because each one gave us a different M'Lynn. QL did not try to copy Sally Field. And she stole my heat in the hospital scene.

SHELBY: Julia Roberts has a great talent for playing Julia Roberts, even when trying to fake a southern accent. Don't get me wrong, I love Julia Roberts. She has some great great movies, but I don't necessarily think it's because of her acting chops. She just gets the good movies. Condola Rashad, doesn't have much to compare her performance to, and may well be riding in on her mama's coattails. But without comparison to another role, I think she pulled off very well a character with the hand that Shelby was dealt in life. With the possible exception of the insulin shock scene. She just looked a little grumpy, but at least she maintained her role as a young woman. Roberts just regressed to an 8 year old girl (please no medical debates. Diabetes runs through my family. I know insulin shock). For someone who hasn't taken on such a big role, I REALLY enjoyed Rashad. And she's not butt ugly when she cries.
PREFERRED: Condola Rashad (2012)

TRUVY: I like Jill Scott as a singer. I like Dolly Parton as both a singer and as an actor. Dolly Parton brought a presence to the role of Truvy. Jill Scott brought the presence of a supporting character to the role of Truvy. There wasn't much to be said. Dolly Parton delivered half of the witty "movie quoters'" lines that we repeat to this day. Scott did't deliver much.
PREFERRED: Dolly Parton (1989)

OUISER: GOD I'm so disappointed. Because I adore Alfre Woodard. I love her and can't say it enough times. I love everything I have seen her in. Yet she delivered one of the most lackluster performances in this film. And for as much as I love Ms. Woodard, I love Shirley MacLaine every bit as much because I love everything I have seen HER in as well. Firstly, I find it hard to blame Ms. Woodard, simply because I don't think this was a role suited for her. She is known for (mostly) playing strong characters who have it together. Ouiser is a strong character, but doesn't always have it together. Shirley on the other hand (whom - again - I adore) was born to play flakes. In THIS role, she cannot be topped.
PREFERRED: Shirley MacLaine (1989)

CLAIREE: Both Dukakis and Rashad are the picture of elegance. But quite simply, Olympia presented the role of Clairee with the fork-tongued wit necessary to allow Clairee and Ouiser to play so well off of each other. I have never seen a character chemistry like theirs. Rashad and Woodard barely seemed like they even knew each other.
PREFERRED: Olympia Dukakis (1989)

ANNELLE: This sounds like a horrible thing to say. But I LOATHE Daryl Hannah. I don't know why. I can't explain it, I just do. But I have to admit to liking her Annelle far better than Adepero Oduye. At least Hannah delivered some wide-eyed ditzy emotion to the role of Annelle. Had I not known better, I would have suspected that Oduye was reading her lines off of a cue card. And quite quickly I might add.
PREFERRED: Daryl Hannah (1989)

Remaining opinions abbreviated:

Jackson: Tory Kittles (2012) Emotional. Great performance.

Sammy: Kevin O'Connor (1989) Equal amounts of charm and humor. Lance Gross was not bad. He was ADORABLE, but incredibly underused).

Drum: Tom Skerritt (1989) Lovable and funny (don't get me started on the other guy, I will rip him a new one)

Spud: Sam Shepard (1989) Down and out, but not verbally abusive to his wife. Also redeems himself in the end.

I would love to hear other opinions of die-hard SM fans.

Re: Preferred cast: 1989 vs 2012

Condola over Julia? Puh-lease! I can't even process anything else you wrote because of that choice alone.

Georgina: Are we safe here?
Michael: Does Albert read?

Re: Preferred cast: 1989 vs 2012

I was going to say what Lydia said, then I read on anyways...and the rest of your post I agree with lol. Condola over Julia though, seriously? She is a lovely girl, but there was not one scene I enjoyed her or appreciated her in, I think I would have liked the movie MUCH more with another Shelby. I was thinking Rashad's TV daughter Keshia Knight ("Rudy") would have been a great alternative choice, oh well.

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(¸.·´ (¸.·´*Samantha*

Re: Preferred cast: 1989 vs 2012

To all responders: One thing I should probably clear up: Over all, big picture, I love Julia Roberts. But I can't say that Shelby was one of my favorite characters of hers. I don't see her as "southern," and therefore, in my opinion (and maybe ONLY mine), I felt Roberts was forcing herself into the role. What I appreciated about Condola's performance is that unlike certain members of this cast, she was playing SHELBY. Not Julia Roberts. I am not by any means saying it was a powerhouse performance, don't mistake that. I am just saying it was heartfelt and believable. in 89, Shelby reluctantly played the hand she was dealt in life and then DESPERATELY grasped for the validation and approval of her family. In 2012, Rashad's Shelby rolled with the punches and laid it out for her family to accept it, like it or not. She had attitude, and lots of it. We saw it in her interaction with Jackson, and we saw it with her mom. And I liked it. I just think that Julia has had better roles. May accepted this one in conjunction with an otherwise flawless cast. Much like M'Lynn, both had different things to offer, unlike many new cast members who may have tried too hard to copy the old ones.

Re: Preferred cast: 1989 vs 2012

Aside from the forced fake southern accent that irritates me a bit (since Im from Louisiana, and we don't speak like that at all) I think Julia Roberts did a fine job playing Shelby. I just wish she would have talked in her normal way, rather than the fake accent.

Condola's Shelby laid it on the table, not unlike Julia's Shelby.. "well, Im 2 months pregnant, I got all these fancy doctors in Shreveport. You're just mad becuase you can't call the shots, and that pisses you off", but Julia's delivery was in a more pleading her mama to understand way... "please mama, I need your support, please mama, be happy for me. I need your help, you need to help me plan.." It didn't seem like Julia's Shelby was defying her mother. Condolas Shelby seemed more defiant.

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Re: Preferred cast: 1989 vs 2012

No standout performances for me in this version. So I choose the 1989 cast all the way in every role. As for Shelby, the character that is the heart of the movie - Julia all the way. I'm not a fan of JR, don't particularly care for her, but she was much better in the role as Shelby. She showed emotions, CR didn't, she had the same face and attitude in every scene. Too bad, could've been a decent remake.

It happened in Salem....USA

Re: Preferred cast: 1989 vs 2012

Funny, the OP doesn't see Julia Roberts who is from Georgia as southern...LOL.

Roberts may not be the greatest actress of all time, but she ran circles around this Shelby who was totally wooden.

In fact most of the cast maybe due to a short shoot seemed to just say their lines, the timing was off throughout the whole production.

Re: Preferred cast: 1989 vs 2012

You won't find many who will, but I agree with you on the Shelby role. Julia was over the top in a lot of scenes. And the accent was just horrible. I think she had tried so hard to get rid of her Georgia accent that it made it even worse for her to try on a new one. Rashad was understated, but I liked that in comparison to Julia.

Re: Preferred cast: 1989 vs 2012

89 had a great cast while this one was just blah.

Re: Preferred cast: 1989 vs 2012

At the scene of Shelby's death, I think Queen Latifah pulled it off with the level of emotion that it deserved. Her daughter died, Watching Sally Field in this scene, it looked more like her bundt cake fell in the oven. HOWEVER, no one, not even Queen Latifah could match the breakdown scene (originally at Shelby's funeral).
I totally agree with this part.

I've never fooled anyone. I've let people fool themselves.

Re: Preferred cast: 1989 vs 2012

Me too, I normally tear up at Sally Field's graveyard scene but with this version it was the hospital scene. Queen Latifah was wonderful in this part.

Re: Preferred cast: 1989 vs 2012

Yes, but Sally was playing the role as written as a "Steel Magnolia." They don't show there emotions in public. This is why the graveyard scene, when she does finally break, is so powerful.

Re: Preferred cast: 1989 vs 2012

I am sorry, but the entire cast sucked in this film with the exception of Rachad Sr and Alfre Woodard. You could just tell that there was no money behind this film, every scene just looked cheap as hell. I kept wanting to jump into the TV and strangle Alfre and Rachad for even agreeing to partake in such a train wreck. Seriously, when is lifetime going to stop butchering great stories, I even thought Jodi Arias did not deserve the crappy portrayl by lifetime in dirty little secret. Steel Magnolias just seemed to be way over acted and under budgeted.

Re: Preferred cast: 1989 vs 2012

I'm late to the thread but who cares, I just saw the movie so I will give my opinion:

For all it is worth, the 89 version cast did a better job but for reason in my opinion. You had actors who were perfect fits for the original role and played so well off each other, you had the relationship chemistry. The 12 version, you had rewrites of parts to fit the actor but the ensemble did not have that same wit and chemistry about them. Each on their own were good but it lost something in the adaption. It is not about the diversity of the actor to play the role or the race, writing, TV v. theatre etc...It was just the actors selected were doing roles already played on screen by others and those roles of the characters have been seen and perceived to be played a certain way.

For example:
Dolly Parton played her character so well that anyone else seems to be copying the part not adding to it. Dolly left little if any room for improvement on the part. Now, had the remake been done first, I might have thought Dolly overplayed her part.

For the movie itself, it was fine as a movie but it is not the original so it has characters that have been portrayed a certain way. Those characters for 20 years embodied what the movie was, it is not easily erased in the minds of those who have seen both. That gives the newer version a character comparison and a standard that people will expect it to hold itself up to. Changing dialogue, characters, actors, races etc. does not change the subject matter of the movie. In the end, the movie was an adaption of the original and the original was a success for a reason, that this one will be held to. If they did not/do not want to be compared then change the character names, location, and give it a new name with the same plot. There are many movies with the same plot.