I’ll be delighted to call this person a “she” for the rest of my time on this planet. I hope others follow suit.
Grown adult has complete breakdown over being misgendered. This is what gender ideology does to people pic.twitter.com/NtPwoWQg35
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) October 15, 2023
Apart from the usual sentiments I couldn’t think of anything pointed to say about the passing of Piper Laurie. She was an excellent actress and lived for a presumably fulfilling 91 years. I’m sorry her journey ended but we all have to go sometime.
Laurie’s most celebrated performance was as Sarah, the alcoholic and melancholy girlfriend of Paul Newman‘s Eddie Felson in The Hustler. I could never figure what Sarah wanted from Eddie or from life itself. She liked drinking — that’s for sure. She admired Felson’s brilliant gift as a pool player, but strongly resented his playing pool for money or at least his partnering with George C. Scott‘s Bert Gordon.
What did she want Eddie to do, play for the sheer sport of it and forego the dough because money is the root of all evil? Kind of a silly, college-girl attitude.
Laurie was 28 or 29 when The Hustler was filmed. She was 44 or thereabouts when her other big role, Sissy Spacek‘s religious nut mother in Brian De Palma‘s Carrie, was filmed.
The Best Supporting Actress buzz for Penelope Cruz‘s Ferrari performance — the bitter, burning, marginalized-but-nonetheless-tough-as-nails wife of Enzo Ferrari, holding his fate and that of the car company itself in her hands — started roughly six weeks ago at the Venice Film Festival, and here I am adding a log to the fire.
Cruz and the bewigged and paunchy Adam Driver, who portrays the nearly 60-year-old Ferrari with a current of earnest conviction, perform a dining-room tabletop sex scene that out-points, I feel, the last historic milestone in this realm — the Jack Nicholson-Jessica Lange table-top in Bob Rafelson‘s The Postman Always Rings Twice (’81).
The difference is that the Cruz-Driver sex is joyful and eruptive and therapeutic while the Nicholson-Lange is merely hot and hungry.
Due respect to The Eyes of Tammy Fae‘s Jessica Chastain, but there’s no question that Cruz’s bravura performance in Pedro Almodovar‘s Parallel Mothers (’21) should have won the Best Actress Oscar — everyone understands that. So the Ferrari nomination will likely result in Cruz being regarded as the front-runner — one of those “the Academy apologizes buut this will make things right” deals.
I loved David Fincher’s The Killer (Netflix 10.27)…a great escape film if I’ve ever seen and felt one. It took me out of myself and dropped me into a higher realm, or at least my idea of one. It redefines the meaning of the word “chill” in a way that will either knock you out or, if you’re an ideologue or a shoulder-shrugger or a constipated, closed-off type, leave you with shards.
It’s first and foremost about the supreme comfort of living in a super-clean, perfectly crafted Fincher film, and about the joy of being a ghost and travelling alone like a nowhere man, and about the blissful solitude and curious joy of disassociative technique…about the existential solace and solitude of having a wonderfully endless supply of fake IDs, fake passports and fake license plates, and maneuvering through flush and fragrant realms and the zen of nothingness…about the almost religious high of not giving a single, solitary fuck.
Despite sitting in a too-small Paris theatre seat (I could barely move my legs) and despite Fincher’s film starting almost a half-hour late, I was in heaven start to finish. It’s all about eluding fate and slipping the grasp, about playing a fleet phantom game and, much to my surprise and delight, about chasing down several unlucky functionaries and nefarious upper-caste types and sending them to God.
It’s about a side of me (and of Fincher, of course) that loves being on the move and managing to slip-slide away like Paul Simon but in a GOOD way or at least an extremely cool one…about being blissfully free of conventional entanglements and concerned only with slick stealth and ducking out of sight and, despite suffering a bruise or two, gaining the upper hand.
The Killer is about the joys of living a cold and barren life…it mainlines the hollow but feels like a kind of new-age opiate…it turned me on like Joni Mitchell’s radio, and I’m still feeling the buzz and humming the melody the morning after. I can’t wait to see it another two or three times, bare minimum.
Thank you, Mr. Fincher, for slipping me a great nickle bag of smack and what felt last night like the best meaningless-but-at-the-sane-time meaningful movie high I’ve had in a dog’s age.