I couldn’t watch more than a minute of Feud — Jessica Lange was terminally miscast, and the dialogue was 90% rigid exposition.
But this guy makes an interesting argument:
Granted, Baby Jane has long been misidentified as a camp classic, a movie that’s perceived to be unaware of its excesses and therefore worthy of the patronizing “point-and-laugh” treatment. (…)
But is Baby Jane camp? “Camp” suggests that Davis (along with Crawford and Aldrich) didn’t realize that they were making a heightened melodrama about divas locked in a death spiral. Or, worse, that they were simply washed-up artists playing out the string in a silly movie. But that simply doesn’t make sense. Released five years before Bonnie & Clyde ushered in the New Hollywood, Baby Jane captured the collateral damage of the studio system’s final years in real time — this film wasn’t just a product of an outmoded Hollywood, it was also about that fading world.
Watching Baby Jane after screening the first five episodes of Feud — while I’ve long been a fan of Aldrich, I had never seen this particular movie — I was reminded of the mix of elegant craft and down-and-dirty nastiness from other Aldrich movies like Kiss Me Deadly and The Dirty Dozen. With Baby Jane, Aldrich successfully updated the definitive Hollywood satire, Sunset Boulevard, by somehow being an even more cynical about Hollywood as the old studios entered their post-apocalyptic period. Perhaps his own status as journeyman who was deemed unworthy of prestige projects gave Aldrich a unique perspective on how ephemeral such status symbols really are in Hollywood.