SXSW Film: Sally Field polishes her star in ‘Doris’

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Sally Field, during a Sunday interview with the Statesman.
Sally Field, during a Sunday interview with the Statesman.

Sally Field, during a Sunday interview with the Statesman.


There aren’t too many roles for women in the 60s in Hollywood. Sure, Meryl Streep has managed to stay busy, but not many others.

With “Hello, My Name Is Doris,” Sally Field proves why she and other women should keep getting chances.

Field got a standing ovation at the Saturday premiere of “Doris” at the Paramount, and she said Sunday that she was very nervous, adding that “you always get nervous if you care.”

In the movie, she plays an older woman who has taken care of her mother in a cluttered house on Staten Island. She’s lonely, and she’s pretty much overlooked at her office, where she’s surrounded by youngsters.

She has a habit of picking up stuff out of the trash, and from the looks of her outfits, she has never shopped in a retail store.

When her mother dies, the loneliness becomes overwhelming, and Doris decides after attending a self-help meeting that she’s going to make big changes in her life. As it so happens, there’s a new guy in the office, and she develops a crush on him.

It seems way inappropriate for Doris to be pursuing the guy, and much of the comedy comes from this setup. But it’s much more than that. Doris is finally becoming a full person, even if she does so in a weird way.

It’s a beautiful performance, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else being able to pull off the role.

In an interview Sunday, she said she had a great time making the movie, especially picking out the outfits. But she’s still not sure about one of the neon get-ups she wears to a concert, saying she told director Michael Showalter that she didn’t want Doris to look crazy.

She doesn’t.

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