For three or four years but particularly since Carol I’ve been nagged by vague thoughts about Rooney Mara‘s pursed lips. Obviously she has a problem with smiling (which I relate to) but the pursed lips, which have become her signature default expression (especially on the red carpet), seem like more of a facial tic than anything else. On top of which I’ve been wondering where she got it or if it’s just a natural ice-maiden thing Mara has been playing with since she was six or seven. Then it came to me last night — Brigitte Helm did the exact same thing with her lips in Fritz Lang‘s Metropolis….of course! Right in front of me all along.

(l.) Metropolis star Brigitte Helm in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927); (r.) Rooney Mara’s Helm-like signature pose in Todd Haynes’ Carol (2015).