Archives for posts with tag: Sigourney Weaver

A Roman Polanski film in which rape is a major element? Freudian slip much? “Death and the Maiden” (1994) features Acting with a capital A. That’s not a compliment. It was like watching a play. I don’t like plays. I don’t like stilted dialogue read by actors competing to see who can eat the most scenery. I don’t like movies about South America with no South American actors. I especially don’t like when a character named Gerardo Escobar is played by an Englishman using a mildly fake Upper West Side accent. A movie for the pretentious, performed by the pretentious.

There’s no quiet like the quiet following a winter storm. I’ve lived through ice storms in the Northeast. They’re not pleasant. Neither is “The Ice Storm,” director Ang Lee’s 1997 meditation on 1970s mores. Groovy, earth-toned freedom is stripped to its decadent core. Then the forces of nature have their way, leaving emptiness. This might be one of the most perfectly cast films ever, from Kevin Kline’s waspy obliviousness to the fumbling, freckle-faced innocence of various teenage boys. And then there’s Joan Allen and Sigourney Weaver, teaching us the difference between the ice that numbs and the ice that burns.

It would be easy for a journalist to be jealous of a novelist. Journalists must adhere to the facts, while novelists can manipulate the facts to suit the narrative. (Don’t start with your opinions about the news media. That’s a conversation for another time.) But while journalists can report the facts and consider it truth, novelists must adhere to an abstract concept of artistic truth that is much, much harder to execute. So to speak. Which explains “Infamous” (2006), the story of “In Cold Blood” and the mentally tortuous route through the gallows that Truman Capote took in creating it.