Friday, 9 August 2013
WINNIE . DIANA . CARRIE
This silver screen will be dripping with so much estrogen this coming fall, I'm tempted to check if I might accidentally acquire a set of ovaries purely by osmosis. I'm reminded what it was like to grow up with three sisters. I could never beat them. So I joined them!
I haven't been this excited about movies since 1998, when Cate, Meryl and Gwyneth came out with Elizabeth, One True Thing and Shakespeare in Love, respectively.
This year we've got Jennifer Hudson as Winnie Mandela, Naomi Watts as Diana and Chloe Moretz as Carrie. Isn't that lineup just so breathtaking?? I just had to see the trailers to get an idea of how 2013's Triumvirate stacks up against the 1998's Trinity.
J.Hud's Winnie Mandela biopic finally hits US cinemas on September 6. Filmed in 2010 and premiered in 2011, it received weak reception at the Toronto International Film Festival. Perhaps the producers were fearful that Torontonians' apathy about the apartheid would doom the film to Razzies infamy instead of toward Oscars glory. Perhaps they felt like two years was enough time to leave the film out to dry, effectively clearing the stench of rotten tomatoes off the celluloid - who knows?!
I have loved J.Hud from the moment she covered Ms. Barry Manilow's Weekend in New England on Idol. I staunchly defended her, even through that disastrous episode with an ill-fitting and badly proportioned Oscar de la Renta metallic python bolero. Meanwhile, is there anything about "metallic python bolero" that sounds right?
If the trailer is meant to whet your appetite for the main course, I'm just not hungry any more. Maybe it's Jenny Craig, maybe it's J Bridge. Whatever it is, I have a sinking feeling that Winnie Mandela is a nightmare, not a dream. J.Hud seems unable to deliver her lines smoothly, watch. Something is innately problematic about the script. It's a bad script!! Every line in the trailer sounds like it might have come from another revolution movie, it's unbearable!
If there's any measure of comfort for J.Hud's fans, it's that the camera clearly loves her. At the very least, she looks as gorgeous as ever.
Good for you, Naomi Watts, for finally looking like you're ready to step away from the long shadows of Nicole Kidman, Jodie Foster and Kylie Minogue! Gurl, you look like every blonde chick I ever saw - I'd never be able to place your face or your name to save my life!
With Diana, Hollywood's go-to blonde for every horror movie ever made (including The Ring, King Kong and the superlatively nightmarish J. Edgar) just might snag her first Oscar statuette. Watts parlays decades' worth of experience in horror flicks towards creating an eerily perfect mirror image of the late Princess of Wales. Makes you wonder if Watts made a deal with Diana's spirit to temporarily inhabit her body for as long as filming required it, so they could star in the biopic "together."
Diana was so well photographed, there'd be hell to pay if an actor screwed up her character study. Many actors consider it intimidating not to have artistic license over a character, or with a character's journey. In Diana's case, there's very little leeway for invention, interpretation and improvisation. Simply, playing Diana is all about re-creation. And response - that is what the actor who plays Diana must contribute. A truthful moment-to-moment response. She's an archetype! It's not that hard to play her!
Thankfully, Watts captures every minute detail with effortless perfection - especially the deep, dark, desperate, reserved, rebellious and resigned sadness we all saw in Diana's eyes.
In all honesty, though? I'm most excited about finally watching a dramatization of Diana's affairs. She clearly had a thing for swarthy men of South-Asian / Middle Eastern descent! Good for her - she liked her men with a bit more flava.
I don't really give a fuck about Chloe Moretz; who is she?
But OMG - Julianne Fucking Moore? Hellz, yeah!