Tuesday, October 02, 2007
You Forget How They Look
In a field of actresses who make a living playing beautiful young things or the requisite older female character, fill in Diane Keaton or Meryl Streep, (there doesn't seem to be a lot of in between), Ashley Judd has become something of an anomoly, shedding her good girl roles of yore and becoming an actress who plays complicated, troubled women in their late thirties who are hell bent on slow death, self-destruction, emotional pain, and the dreadful pockets of grief that have replaced youthful hopefulness with damaged men, substance abuse, and in her most recent effort, Bug, a furnished apartment in the bleakness of Oklahoma and an attachment to a crazy dude who convinces her that the military has injected him with a bug-like virus that will kill them. She's being stalked by her ex-husband played by a very convincing Harry Connick Jr. who has shed his piano bar allure for something far more real. He and Ashley have this ability, to make you forget how they look on screen and become something rougher. Even so, Ashley carries the movie with a fragility that makes the viewer cringe. I've read a few reviews of her latest efforts in which the reviewers are disdainful of her choices, calling attention to how depressing and unchanging her characters seem. I have to say that's what appeals to me the most. Who in God's name wants another life-affirming story about anything? Okay, maybe some people! People I don't know. The fringes, where things are coming apart no matter how hard we try to keep them together, that's when something can happen.
Part horror movie, part love story, part emotional trauma center, this movie is just in time for Halloween. Nothing is scarier than crazy love, nothing more isolating and claustrophobic than our own minds. It's enough to do almost anything and when you come to the end of the day, you'll turn to whatever is around to make it go away, your thoughts like bugs inside you that you can never ever remove, merely medicate enough to give you a little peace unless you're willing to burn yourself up for love.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Somehow you can tell the difference when a song is written just to get on the radio and when what someone does is their whole life." Lyle Lovett
Drinking music suggestion: Bloodlines Terry Allen and the Mystery Panhandle Band
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday! And happy birthday wishes to wonderful Cheri!