Death Becomes Her
Release year: 1992
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Screenwriter: Martin Donovan, David Koepp
Starring: Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, Bruce Willis, Isabella Rossellini, Ian Ogilvy, Adam Storke, Nancy Fish, Alaina Reed-Hall
Ratings: 1 Oscar: Best Special Effects. 1 Golden Globe nomination: Best Actress Comedy/Musical (Meryl Streep). 2 Saturn Awards: best Supporting Actress (Isabella Rossellini), Best Special Effects.
Madeline (Streep) and Helen (Hawn) are rivals more than friends and when Madeline steals away Helen’s fiancé Menville (Willis), Helen is left destroyed. Years later Madeline and Melville live an unhappy life as married when Helen returns in the picture looking younger and prettier than ever. Desperate Madeline seeks out the fountain of youth she has heard rumored of. But there are some side effects.
More than 25 years later the special effects still hold, making this a movie that truly earned the Oscar it received! The story is fun, and the cast is star-studded, but to be honest, you really revisit this to see the special effects, you still remember from when this came out. Because there are lingering images in the film. Whether it is seemingly dead bodies rising in the background or Streep (The Devil Wears Prada, 2006) declaring she can literally see right through Hawn (Overboard, 1987), this has moments that ensures the movie is anything but forgettable. Sure, Hawn and Streep are brilliant and so is Willis stepping out of the action-star niche Die Hard (1988) left him in. But you enjoy this for the thrilling effects, the originality of the story and the fun of it all.
A pneumatic bra was built to create the effect where Meryl Streep‘s breasts become higher and firmer after drinking the potion, but the effect didn’t look realistic enough. In order to get the shot, Streep’s dresser stood behind her, out of sight of the camera, and pushed her breasts into position.
Picture copyrights: UIP