Skip to content

Her Name is Ed Wilson

Thoughts, Anyone?

Age is more than a "mulligan"

Something’s been on my mind.

\

Jean Reno and Natalie Portman in Leon the Professional

The Oscar Nominations were released this morning and all of the expected nominees were listed. Out of curiosity I watched some trailers for the films I hadn’t heard of. One in particular drew my attention, it was for the film An Education starring Peter Sarsgaard and Carey Mulligan. It looks like an intriguing film, but I just couldn’t help shake the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a role that can “breakout” an actress faster, than a woman playing a precocious young girl who gets caught in the eye of an adult man’s beholder.

Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page in Hard Candy

Perhaps, Nabokov’s book has created its own trope.

It just makes me think of films like Hard Candy, White Oleander, Leon the Professional , Poison Ivy, Pretty baby, Interview with the Vampire, and etc.  Usually the girl is “not like the other girls” she’s literate, clever, sardonic, and seductive. Basically, an adult woman hidden beneath a soft face. But the “man” in these films is just as much of a fantasy as the girl: usually a free agent with a hobby to sustain him, in many cases wealthy, quick-witted, and vulnerable. I don’t begrudge any of the actresses for the roles that they portray, but I’ve seen Natalie Portman, Ellen page, and Alison Lohman play in parts that are equally as evocative. However, when women play the young girl in a doomed pairing it always seems to climb the heap of critical praise.

Brooke Shields being pushed in the center of the debate.

Usually, at the end of such films the girl realizes that despite all the expensive clothes she buys, her perfect pantomimes, the books she’s read, and all the masks she wears, behind it all is still  just a girl.  But the man usually either bores of her as she ages and becomes “just like everyone else” or he tries to dismiss the entire thing altogether.

I can admit it does sort of make me twitch when I see images played out like this, but it’s just a movie, right?

As I said, this was just a random thought I had after seeing the trailer. I truly wish Carey Mulligan and all the other nominees the best.

Any thoughts?

-e.d.w.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: