Superstar
Nora Aunor Fan Site
PERFORMANCES OF THE AGE

Source: The National Pastime Contemporary Philippine Cinema, Joel
David

Award-sweeping became the in thing, what with the addition of more
and overlapping bodies to the already flourishing FAMAS, Urian,
MMFF, and CMMA- to wit, the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC)
with its Star trophy and the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP). Two
of these, the FAP and the FAMAS, claim to be industry-based
recognitions, although the FAP is more systematically organized
according to guilds; this advantage of legitimacy also brings with it the
disadvantage of the prevalence of popularity choices, just as between
the Urian and Star, the former may comprise a number of serious critics,
but the latter possesses the humility necessary for thoroughgoing review
and evaluation processes.

Despite the propensity of these groups, both collectively and as
individual bodies, in setting records for favored artists, the outstanding
performance of the period belongs to that of Nora Aunor in Himala,
which was honored only by the MMFF. Ms. Aunor had been possessed
with a search for superior acting vehicles, and threw away a lot of her
own money in the process, since in essence she mostly had to run
against the preferences of her mass supporters. With Brocka she made
perceptible strides in ensuring her lead over the rest of the pack,
particularly in Ina Ka Ng Anak Mo and Bona. But all that was really
required of her was a project that had enough scope to demonstrate her
far-reaching prowess, with a minimum of editorial manipulation. In
Himala the director and writer seemed to have agreed to a mutual
stand-off, thus amplifying the theatrical potential of an expansive locale
with a protracted takes; stagetrained talents ensured the competent
execution of histrionic stylizations, with the climax set on an open-air
platform before a hysterical audience. It was a truly great actress'
opportunity of a lifetime, and Nora Aunor seized it and made it not just
her role, but her film as well.

Not since Anita Linda in Gerardo de Leon's Sisa (circa the first Golden
Age) had there been such a felicitous exploitation by a performer of
ideal filmaking conditions - and in this instance, Himala has the decided
advantage of being major-league and universal. Other consistent
stand-outs during the period - and these would be formidable enough as
they are -demand to be taken in terms of body of work, not any individual
movie: Vic Silayan for Ligaw na Bulaklak, Kisapmata and Karnal; Gina
Alajar for Brutal, Salome, Moral and Bayan Ko; and Nora Aunor for
whatever title she appeared in during the eighties, regardless of budget,
intention, or box-office result. Record-setters of this period, specifically
Phillip Salvador, Nida Blanca, and Vilma Santos, deserve mention in
only for the skills and supreme good fortune necessary in attaining their
respective feats. Among newcomers, only Jacklyn Jose of Private Show
seems to hold forth promise of an order comparable to most of those
performances listed herein.