Ryan Murphy’s season-length depiction of the legendary feud between Hollywood icons Bette Davis and Joan Crawford is a perfect vehicle for leads Susan Sarandon and, especially, Jessica Lange in the title roles. Lange, in particular, tears into her role with strength and sensitivity, not forgetting Crawford’s more rough edges but also humanizing her along the way, while Sarandon seems to be having fun playing the droll, witty Davis. With plenty of glorious recreations of famous scenes from both actresses’ filmographies (most notably 1962’s “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”) and notable Hollywood events, “Feud” seems to be tailor-made for Murphy, who often finds inspiration from film and television that have come before, not unlike Quentin Tarantino: By focusing on the motivations of both actresses for the notorious feud instead of solely their actions, Murphy manages to make what could have been a campy sideshow into a legitimately heartbreaking and emotionally complex drama.
Rating: ★★★★★ (out of 5)
You can watch the trailer here: