Sunday, March 25, 2007

You cannot perfect perfection

In response to a recent article (quoted at the F-Word) on how famous women are often 'prettied up' on celluloid to make them look nice for the masses, I have at least one positive counterexample. Did anyone watch The Hours? The movie makers, bless them, actually made an effort to create an accurate Virginia Woolf, even making a prosthetic nose for Nicole Kidman to transform her entirely:

That said, Ms. Woolf was already pretty damn good looking to begin with. But at least they didn't have her looking like Kidman on film.


  1. Quite a few actors/actresses have gained weight for roles as well, going against the convention, one of the most memorable being Renee Zellwegger in Bridget Jones Diary.

  2. Yes, but that's not really what I'm referring to, though their dedication is admirable. Fictional characters are fairly open to interpretation even if they do have a description. What I'm talking about are modern day representations of people for whom we already have pictorial depictions of, such as Beatrix Potter (whose stern and austere photographs look nothing like the Bridget Potter in the movie) and Jane Austen (who is described as being less good looking and is rather plain in her portraits compared to the Anne Hathaway version). It's a little insulting to have movies that apparently praise these women and their work and yet it was deemed necessary to make their appearances more conventionally attractive to appeal to the audience, as if their achievements mean nothing without a pretty face; although the films do bring their work and lives to the masses more than conventional methods.
    Ach, if you feel like it, go to the F-Word and read the blog post.

  3. No, If you don't want to answer or discuss comments made in a post you made, then don't make the post.

    In the cinema industry there are more factors to making a film than just what the stars look like. Firstly, there are so many people who get a say in who plays who. The Casting Director, The Director, The Producer, The Studio Executices just to name a few. The factors are things such as
    "can this actor/actress actually play the role well?"
    "will they draw enough people to this movie?" (if it is felt that a big star is needed, as a movie does NEED to make money, otherwise it could prevent some of the people involved in it from getting any more work)
    "how will they play off of their co-stars?"
    "do they at least fit basic criteria of the character they are playing, such as skin colour and gender?"

    Going to the extra lengths of giving the actor/actress prosthetics lengthens the movie making process and costs money, especially when it is pretty much non-necessary. Does Will Smith look ANYTHING like muhammad ali? No, did he do a VERY accurate portrayal of him in Ali? Yes, he did.
    It is not about whether the actor/actress looks enough like the role to play it, it is about HOW they will play it.

    For example: Does Hugh Jackman look at all like the short, ugly little runt that is wolverine in the comicbooks? No, he's a 6 foot plus pretty boy. But he is still AWESOME as Wolverine, and I have no qualms with him as Wolverine at all, in fact I wouldn't ANYONE else play the role.

  4. I'd accept that no problem... except that when I saw Miss Potter, it really was like watching Bridget Jones in period costume. There are a wealth of actresses more suited to the role that René, but they chose her.