Hollywood is eager for the March 5th premiere of Ryan Murphy‘s new series Feud: Bette and Joan and the reviews rolling in, commend the shows ‘mise en scene’. FX released the first official trailer and there’s a lot of elements that must be discussed! Girl, first let’s talk about that production design. Production designer Judy Becker (Joy & Carol) seemly recreates 1962’s glamorous Hollywood! I mean look at those drapes, retro lamps and velvet upholstery, my brain is exploding from how accurate this series looks. The costumes is what got my jaw to drop. The elegant ties, the ruffled rouge dresses, and that black feather hat; I might end up watching this show purely for the art direction and vision involved!
The real message of this season of the anthology series is not the actual feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, but really it’s a catalyst for Murphy to talk about the blatant sexism in Hollywood and how it affects women in the industry.
The directing team, per FX’s recent commitment to supporting diversity, is 50 percent women, including Liza Johnson, Gwyneth Horder-Payton, and Helen Hunt. Murphy and Minear direct the other four episodes, and none of the five screened for critics dramatically overplay key moments. They do push, to some degree, into a heightened reality that feels relatable to past Murphy-produced projects. The structure of the limited series covers a surprisingly large chunk of the narrative surrounding “Baby Jane”: After watching more than half the series, it’s not totally clear what’s left to uncover in the remaining installments. And that’s factoring in a lack of certainty as to how much of the show is truly based in truth.
But it still holds together because the true story of what happened when Joan and Bette made a movie together isn’t what’s interesting to Murphy and the staff. Instead, the series commits to extracting a parable about women, power, and the ways in which life twists those things up.
Sometimes, this drags the narrative into moments that feel predictable or obvious — at least if you’re an adult woman, and you’ve spent decades being reminded that in a world run by men, you are, by definition, considered second class. But perhaps that only makes those moments more essential.
“Sucks to be a lady,” one side of “Feud” seems to say. “Bitches be crazy,” says the other. Perhaps the show’s crowning achievement is the fact that it can say both things at once, and both statements feel true — because both statements are symptoms of the same disease. (via Indiewire)
Oh and let’s not forget that the trailer unveiled the rest of the distinguished cast!
Alfred Molina as director Robert Aldrich and Stanley Tucci as predictably loathsome studio head Jack Warner by and large represent the male perspective. Meanwhile, this is a cast stacked with female talent beyond basic comprehension: Talking head interstitials are how we first meet Olivia de Havilland (Catherine Zeta-Jones), Geraldine Page (Sarah Paulson), Joan Blondell (Kathy Bates) and more, but some of them do get integrated into the action, making for some of the best scenes in later episodes. (via Indiewire)
Check out the artistic main title sequence below!