In a 2.2.15 article related to See You In My Dreams, I wrote about a certain metaphor that applied to Blythe Danner and septuagenarian sexuality. I wrote that it seemed a bit…well, a tiny bit curious that unlike her widowed character in the film, who falls in love with and has gentle sex with Sam Elliott, Danner herself hasn’t done the deed in over 13 years, or since the death of her husband Bruce Paltrow in ’02. This, in any event, is what Danner told Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson in a Sundance Film Festival interview that appeared just before my piece.
Danner’s sex life (or a lack of one) is, of course, none of my damn business. Except, due respect, when Danner is doing award-season interviews about her performance as a woman very much like herself who decides to take a lover after 20 years of abstinence. The film is obviously mirroring her own life to some extent and vice versa, and she’s presumably agreed to make herself available to some extent as part of a Bleecker Street effort to put her name into the conversation for Best Actress.
You can call it a Larry David question if you want, but it’s fair to ask as long as it’s delicately phrased. If Danner has hooked up with a boyfriend or two since the Thompson interview then forget it. But if she’s still Dolores Hart, it’s fair to bring it up. Fair warning to her publicist and Bleecker Street.
Best passage from the 2.2.15 piece: “Everyone understands mourning and recovery, but pretty ladies in their 50s don’t become nuns because their husbands have died. Sooner or later they get back into it because sex is the nectar of life and the grand metaphor of appetite and engagement. Not schtupping means quitting on some level. It means you’re ‘too old’, and who wants to live a life that doesn’t include that intrigue? Not having sex is in the same boat as not enjoying good food, not hiking, not bike-riding, not petting your dog, not campaigning for a cause or a candidate, not laughing, not going to parties, not cooking, not visiting Italy, etc. It’s anti-life. Especially if you’re still slim and fetching, as Danner/Peterson clearly is.”