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


Cocktail Hour
Drinking music suggestion: Bloodlines Terry Allen and the Mystery Panhandle Band

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday! And happy birthday wishes to wonderful Cheri!

8 comments:

Cheri said...

Thanks Michelle!

And what's funny is my brother gave me a copy of that movie to watch today!

Erik Donald France said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the walking man said...

"The fringes, where things are coming apart no matter how hard we try to keep them together, that's when something can happen."

Fuck that's when it always happens and the harder you try to hold it together the more apt it is to fall apart, just best to wing it through the day. If I can hold this moment together then I guess I am doing hunky-dory.




"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."


I ain't that easy to burn though, but I will admit I don't mind medicating...eeyyaahhaaawwwwwwwwww!


"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

Yeah man and you can always tell when the sound is genuine or if it's just a studio gig to get through. Personally genuine may hurt more but it's better than the alternative.


Mucho Gusto Peace

El marco



happy birthday Cheri

Tim said...

That is one of those movies that I saw the advertisement for and wanted to see, but then never did and forgot about it, so thanks for writing about it, I'll have to check it out!

eric1313 said...

You had me at the mere mention of Meryl Streep.

How true it is. If you try too hard to rid yourself of the feelings, the effort will positively (negatively?) burn a person up, just as you say. How can you forget something you love to remember? Even if that memory is only of the emotions, of gestures, nuances and smiling glances, it's something that sticks with you. Courtly love in an age of casual sex is really something quite unforgettable.

And that's when it's not crazy! It's really sad when love is a worst case scenario. Nobody envys that. Not a one.

Best of luck and wishes.

Peace out

Robin said...

I thought she was great in Come Early Morning; I'll have to check this one out. Thanks, M! Hope you're enjoying the mild weather here in D.

Charles Gramlich said...

This was a very good post. I'm right there with you that the best stories come from the fringes where things are coming apart. Very rarely I don't mind a life affirming story on TV, but I can't remember when I've started reading such a story and bothered to finish it. It's most interesting where the dark motes shimmer at the edge of your vision.

Donna said...

cpoqsBut it is, perhaps, the unacknowledged desire to live, that spark that is the essence of "life affirming," that gives the fringe its fragile, transient quality. If not for our need to affirm life, the unraveling would just be hell.
I am one who is continually trying to make it back to a solid place. But most of the comfort I find comes from knowing I am not alone on the periphery.