Rockcrit and A-Mama Ann Powers thinks way too hard sometimes

Thursday, October 06, 2005

It's the lips

The other night, after my marathon work session, I zombied out to Bend it Like Beckham on digital cable. It's one of those "good" movies I'd meant to watch for years, but turned off over and over again, the way you pass on the steamed vegetables on the Asian take-out menu. In my semi-comatose state, I gave in, and though the film itself wasn't as good as, say, Bhaji on the Beach, or certainly Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, it did feature my boy Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, and that delghted me as a crushed-out fan and as an acting buff.

Eric doesn't get why I like actors. He considers them hangers, basically, upon which directors and writers drape their ideas. I, on the other hand, dig a fine thespian, not only as the embodiment of pulchritude, but as the 3D enhancer of mere words and thoughts. To wit:

At the end of Beckham, a movie that's all about what girls should and shouldn't do (especialy girls from a traditional, in this case Indian, family), Rhys-Meyers's Johnny shows up at the airport to bid adieu his newly liberated true love, Jess (Parminder K. Nagra, wonderfully disgruntled throughout, just like on E.R.). A good-bye embrace gives him a chance to convince her to sorta pledge her troth to him, despite her imminent departure for college in California. As she pulls herself away from his kiss, Rhys-Meyers sparkles his eyes a bit and bites his lower lip -- just like a girl. It's a brilliant three-second move that signals the real topsy-turviness of the gender flips the movie's so good-naturedly presented as possible up to that moment. Risking effiminacy at a totally unexpected moment, Rhys-Meyers reminds us that changing the male-female power structure demands more intimate and deeper moves than take place on the soccer field.

This tiny moment gave me such pleasure that I thought, dammit, spread the love for Jonny!! Not only is he the sexiest part of the sexiest rock movie ever made , he absolutely made the BBC version of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast books, and though I haven't seen it yet, I'm even considering watching Alexander just to enjoy him. Well, maybe I won't go that far. I'll keep ya posted.


Blogger daphne said...

sigh. isn't there a whole rap in sociology about how it's *lower class* to care more about actors than auteurs - somehow that always struck me as condescending to the entire history of theater and though i'm not naive in thinking that film and theater are the same thing, obv. watching a movie with a good or great actor is different than watching some amazingly dumb *eyeball tickler* (my hilariously witchy art history teacher just used this term about Matthew Barney. I HATE it, like I hate the word moist) with a lovely hunk of meat in it. granted, i love the lord of the rings too, and there are TWO great hunks in that, but I'm not going to sit around saying its great art. And I'm not going to sit around saying that I need every film to be great art either...What am I trying to say? That there are films and movies, great actors and great hunks, and that I love them all. Ya. This is why I'm not a film critic. sigh.

2:31 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home