Felicity Jones is a skilled and respected actress, but I didn’t find her especially attractive in Drake Doremus‘s Like Crazy. She’s supposed to be this object of mad erotic desire for costar Anton Yelchin, but I was frowning and going “I really don’t get this.” Not a hint of erotic arousal or intrigue or anything. Then I saw Jones in Ralph Fiennes‘ The Invisible Woman, portraying the real-life Nelly Ternan, the young mistress of Fiennes’ Charles Dickens, and again I was perplexed. Jones was more attractive than Joanna Scanlan, who played Dickens’ fat, older wife, but I couldn’t fathom why Dickens, a huge literary celebrity and a man of considerable wealth and power in mid-1800s London, would choose a woman who looks like Jones, of all the attractive women in London at the time, to be the extra-marital love of his life.
Now we have Doremus’s Breathe In opening on 3.28 and I’m not sure I even want to see it because of Jones. You have to want to see someone before you can admire their acting talent. Why do audiences decide they like some actors and actresses and not others? It’s a queer mystical process but some have it and some don’t. I don’t mean to be cruel but Jones is just not schwing material and I’d rather not go there…no offense. Fair warning: if Jones is in a major role, I’m either going to delay seeing the film and/or find some way to not like it when I do. Or…you know, like it less than I would if Jones wasn’t in it. I’m sorry but that’s my decision.
There’s a moment in Inside Llewyn Davis when Max Casella sits down next to Oscar Isaac in the cafe as Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake are performing “100 Miles,” and he says, “That Jean, I’d like to fawck huh.” Unfair and primitive as it may sound, actresses have to trigger this reaction or they’ll never be a star. It’s this or become Meryl Streep. I’m sorry.