Tag Archives: actor

Ben Whishaw in The Hour

18 Aug

British weather is a joke. But in the summer, as the clouds draw over, festivals and fairs get pissed on, and al of a sudden you’re wearing a coat and shivering whilst inside, at least these grumbles are allayed by ‘the silly season’. When giant rats are found in an estate oop north, or when a whale is found halfway up the Thames, or a donkey is parachuted into the air. Silly season is essentially when parliamentary recess happens and every newspaper’s front 20 pages resemble Metro’s page 3.

However, in this disgusting summer, the whole concept of a silly season lasted for about as long as that 31 degree heatwave. What kicked it off was the convergence of evil journalists, evil politicians, evil police officers in the hacking scandal, sending the world into some sort of tailspin, making everything happen reallyfuckingquickly and giving actual purpose to 24 hour news channels’ ‘BREAKING’ tickers. Bar the recent riots, which were a whole new level of WTF, this persistence of stuff just happening all over the place has been eerily echoed by The Hour. The newsroom thriller about the corrupt triumvirate of police, government and journalists, had The Times columnist Giles Coren musing on Twitter: “wow. journalists, police and politicians all interconnected in a terrible naughty mess. who would have thought?”

The programme had been tipped as the ‘British Mad Men’, but the plaudit fell by the wayside; although The Hour’s costumes seem to be spot on, it lacks Mad Men’s glamour and gloss. All for good reason – the BBC’s budget is a mere splash to HBO’s ocean, and postwar Britain was penniless in comparison to postwar America. But at points it feels as if the grubbiness is not down to a purposeful move away from glamour, but down to unintentional faults. There are some serious continuity howlers as the camera angle switches. Look! There’s Dominic West pouring a bottle of wine. And look! It’s disappeared again.

Almost as fleeting as Dominic West’s bottle of wine was my friend Noo’s turn in the first episode. She had a tough task, playing the nervy society girl who dismantled the story’s equilibrium by coming in and mumbling paranoid tales about ‘them’ and ‘they’. But she did very well, and you can see her this Christmas in the BBC’s adaptation of Great Expectations. Let’s hope she gets given a better fringe this time.

But we’re not here to talk about her fringe. We’re here to talk about Ben Whishaw’s lesbian hair. Lots of people have said that his suit looks far too contemporary, that it could’ve fallen out of a Hedi Slimane collection. The same could be said for his hair, which seems to have been scalped from east London’s finest lesbians. It’s all floppy, like what happens when a girl has a crew cut then it grows out and she can’t be bothered to cut it because it’s still pretty low maintenance and besides she’s sleeping with the ex of the girl who cuts her hair for free and why pay anyway? Yeah, that.

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Tilda Swinton

31 May
Tilda Swinton by Craig McDean

Tilda Swinton by Craig McDean (I know, I thought it was Bowie, too)

‘ethereal’

Okay, now I’ve got that one out of the way, we need to talk about Tilda Swinton. In the wake of Cannes’ preview screenings of We Need To Talk About Kevin, people have been fawning all over her, and there’s no wonder why.

The film is going to be sooooo great. Based on Lionel Shriver’s 2003 bestseller of the same name, the epistolary novel is an itchingly unsettling stare-out with the hideous paranoias (and realities) of parenting and being a child. Just as the great Celine Dion says, the book is for all the children in the world and all the parents in the world. That is: fucking everybody. In theory. Funnily enough, the author, Lionel Shriver, doesn’t have any children. It’s easy to see why, though, if her expectations of childrearing are signalled in the book. I’m not sure Tilda is the best person for this role: she seems too stoic, too distant. However, without giving the game away, it’s going to be easier for audience to feel safe from Kevin if his evil is not solely manifested by his nature, but attributable to his nurture/his mother. And I have a sneaking suspicion that Tilda’s not as harsh as she comes across on mainstream celluloid.

If you haven’t already art-wanked over all the Derek Jarman collaborations, you’ll recognise Tilda’s androgynous, razor-featured visage from small, yet integral parts in Hollywood fare such as The Curious Case of Benjamin and The Beach. Oh come on, you definitely know her. She’s snogged both Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. AND she’s probably the most boyish person George Clooney will admit to snogging – as can be seen in Burn After Reading – and also won an Oscar for another performance alongside the coffee-flogging eternal bachelor, in the fantastic thriller Michael Clayton.

Her sex life is seen as controversial, because she has children with an older man and sex with a younger man and they all live happily in the same wind-whipped mansion up a hill in Scotland. But TBH, it just makes her sexier: that a woman with no obvious interpretation of femininity (just look at the hair) can fuck who she likes, is so refreshing. Even if she’s not sleeping with women, she remains a role model to any woman who is a bit of a misfit, but (unlike Gaga, who wants to paint us all as freaks and monsters), doesn’t self-identify as one.

Her hair sums it all up. Ginger or icy blonde, it’s always a perfect combination of mess and precision.

Ellen Page

11 Apr
Ellen Page

Ellen Page

One of the cutest videos ever has just been uploaded onto YouTube. No, it’s not a fainting kitten, it’s Ellen Page juggling. Ellen Page has kind of fallen off my radar since Inception scared me so much I couldn’t sleep alone for weeks. I worry that she’s not going to do enough films and then suddenly age and her cutesy, doll-like face will look really weird as she becomes a proper adult. Like Michelle Trachtenburg – she’s got one faces which reminds you that she was hotter when she was 16 and that’s really creepy.

The magic to Ellen Page is that she’s pretty, but not scary pretty like Christina Ricci. In interviews and her roles, she comes across as intelligent, charming and kooky. Intelligent in a Winona Ryder way. Not kooky in a Chloe Sevigny-will-suck-a-cock-and-it’s-art way, but in a genuinely “I don’t care about looking good for guys” way. And even that’s not in a Kristen “I’m dating R-Patts so I will just wear whatever shit I find on my floor” Stewart way.

If there was a Venn diagram with Chloe Sevigny, Winona Ryder,Christina Ricci and Kristen Stewart all represented as circles and they all crossed over at a particular locus, then I would put that Venn diagram in the bin as a symbol of my wholehearted acknowledgment that it’s reductive to describe women as amalgamations of other women.

Ellen doesn’t conform to a traditional gender role of femininity – she wears boys clothes, isn’t afraid to express her intelligence and doesn’t spend hours each day making herself aesthetically more appealing for men. Yeah, it’s a shame that as soon as a woman doesn’t put makeup on in the mornings, people question her sexuality, but with all the lezzing about her and Drew Barrymore did during the promotional tour for Whip It, can we be blamed for wondering/wishing?

There’s more to it than that. She’s got the perfect nonchalant lesbian hair down. Or up. It’s almost non-descript and rubbish, but women who’re into femmes still adore her, because she is blessed with one of the prettiest faces this side of the catwalk. When her hair’s done all big for photoshoots for mainstream media, she’s detestably pretty. So this boring hair is exactly what’s needed to give Ellen a semblance of normalcy- it complements her face, uglifying her and making her accessible and friendly.

Charlie Sheen

6 Mar
Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen

In case you needed reminding, Charlie Sheen’s meltdown has become incredibly public over the past two weeks. After calling a radio show to babble stuff about 9/11 and give Lindsay Lohan advice (‘learn to control your impulses’), all sorts of broadcasters and publications were knocking on the door of Charlie’s house. The ‘Sober Valley Lodge’, as he calls it, is home to himself, his two ‘goddesses’ and, until the police took them into custody, his two sons by alleged crackhead Brooke Mueller.

The frighteningly articulate actor has said some hilarious things in each of his interviews, but his infamy kind of jumped the shark when he started interacting with his fans on Twitter and playing up to what they like. He’s not really functioning on a different realm when his lowly fans can coerce him into getting a tattoo of ‘winning’ on his wrist. There’s also the small matter of that time in the 80s when he SHOT his ex, Kelly Preston. He’s also plead guilty to a whole slew of assault charges in the years since.

Such a shame Chuck’s a misogynist, because, gee…he used to make such a cute lesbian.