Thursday, 14 June 2007

Stardom, and the price on acting.

Ok, the general Conesus is that Madonna cannot act. Every time she has attempted to on screen/stage she has been laughed at, with a brave few who give her praise. Don’t get me wrong, “Shanghi Surprise”, “Four Rooms”, “Body of Evidence”, “The Next Best Thing” and “Die Another Day” were all fairly wooden and lack luster performances.
But I will argue this:
Bloodhounds of Broadway (crap clip…sorry)”, and “ Shadows and Fog” were not bad, she was believable and got the job done well. She made me laugh and was a lot of fun with Rosie in “A League of Their Own”, ditto the fun for “Dick Tracy”. She actually really impressed me with “ A Dangerous Game ” . And, even though the movie was awful, she was played screwball and silly to perfection in “ Who’s That Girl (again…crap clip…sorry)” something that no one gave her credit for.
(As for “ Evita ” I will only say this, in her scenes where she sang live she was AMAZING, and had she done that for the whole film, she would have been Oscar nominated)
The problem is no matter what she does, the audience will always see Madonna. Her image will always be bigger than anything else.

The reason I was thinking about this is because I was reading a lot of the reviews for “A Mighty Heart” and most said the same thing. You know it is Angelina Jolie. The serious subject matter of the true life story of Mariane Pearl is let down because the star in the lead is just too media saturated to get lost in the role in the viewers mind.

What happens when your star is too bright for the roles you play? Does the media’s current obsession with celebrity over world crisis add to this? Will Lindsey Lohan ever be able to live down her snatch flashing, drinking binges and time in rehab to be taken seriously?

Will the same fate happen to Halle Berry. Will she be able to rise above the controversy and her own sex siren image to deliver, and get lost in, a true performance? (I hear no one crying "foul" over the fact she was cast as Tierney Cahill - a white woman - in “Class Act", or is that too politically incorrect??)

Take Julia Roberts. I love this woman, she has charisma to spare, but we all know that when she acts, she is always Julia Roberts acting….no matter how good it is. I remember watching her in “ Closer ” and “Erin Brockovich” and thinking “Oh My God…Julia has a potty mouth!”. Even I could not differentiate the star from the performance, which is sad for her because the performances were good.

True, actresses cannot all be the Meryl Streep’s, Toni Collette’s, Laura Linney’s, Helen Mirren’s, Samantha Morton’s, Kate Winslet’s (and SO MANY MORE) of the acting-world. Not all want private lives. Not all want to avoid media attention by not becoming fashionista glamazons.
This is because with newspapers and magazines comes some good roles and, more importantly, celebrity. And sometimes if you are blessed with conventional beauty, you will use it to gain the advantage.

Whenever I hear a role as being ‘Oscar bait’ I switch off. The true great performances of the years usually come from those films that did not have the acting buzz.

I do kind of wish that the good roles in smaller films, the juicy ones with substance, were left for those with tremendous talent who are lower on the casting list. Those, who have that rare talent to become the person, and make you forget the actor.


Jose said...

I agree, Madge was terrific in "Evita". I also think her "acting" in her docus is remarkable, since we know she does put a show for the camera, ditto in her videos. I think "Bad Girl" is chilling while her face in "Drowned World" depresses me.
I don't like Angelina Jolie at all, because unlike other celebrities in the spotlight, she does things that seem exclusive for the sake of shocking (the whole public sex with Billy Bob, Morticia at the Oscars and her "I wanna be remembered as a humanitarian" come to mind.
But I'd like to offer two examples of women who overcame the scandals and gave us brilliant acting.
Liz Taylor and Penélope Cruz (whose every media sin I forgive after "Volver".)

P.S: about Julia, I LOVE how they used this in "Ocean's 12".

feenixboi said...

I think that the female actress category should be split into actors and actresses. Hear me out.

The 'actors' are the serious actresses. The Samantha Mortons and Meryls. The ones who look at a script and don't care what they get paid. They love their craft.

The 'actresses' are the girls who are successful because they take a good picture and are seen at all the hot spots. They have a limited appeal. Look good on celluloid. But really can't act to save their lives.

Where Julia fits in is somewhere in between. Gotta love her best actress speech. But yes she is always Julia.

As for Madonna. She is in a class of her own... Singer. Stick to what you are good at darling ;)