I'm sad Natasha Richardson is dead. She was hot in a blonde way, she was a nice sort of actress, and she was the only good thing about that execrable film of The Handmaid's Tale back in the day. I wonder how Margaret Atwood felt about that film. I was crazy about the book, certainly relative to every other Margaret Atwood novel I read besides, which were all disappointing - besides Cat's Eye, which I also quite liked, but which is nowhere close to my desert island reading list. It must be annoying to have such a good book turned into such a lame film.
But I guess it wasn't that lame, because Natasha Richardson was really good as the lead. Poor lady. I liked her in Widow's Peak, too. That movie irritates the hell out of me because I know there was quite a nice twist at the end and I'm fucked if I can remember it, and the internet won't tell me the spoiler, and I didn't like it enough to watch it again. It reminds me of back in the days of VHS when I forced myself to sit through Breaking the Waves at a friend's house, because Emily Watson was so good. And the tape cut out about ten minutes before the end. Obviously there was no way I was ever going to watch it again, because it was a piece of shit, and no way I was going to pay money to rent it again and skip to the end, because I don't like encouraging that sort of thing. And all the other assholes who'd seen it at the time wouldn't tell me how it ended because they 'didn't want to spoil it' for me.
Well, it was already fucking spoiled for me by virtue of it being a bit of voyeuristic sado-wank fantasy from the intensely boring visual libido of Scandinavia's stuttering answer to a question about love nobody asked. Anyways, I'll try asking the internet how it ends now. Oh, she kills herself, her husband recovers, and she goes to heaven. Wow. That sucks. Let the trite shittiness of that movie be a warning to any parents who attempt to raise their children as atheist nudists.
Speaking of voyeuristic wank fantasies, we watched The Proposition, I think the weekend before last. It was worth watching and stacked the odds a little more in Australia's favour as an eventual destination for us; in view of my present job and what it's making me think about trees, I'm finding the idea of living in a continent whose native trees look like people irresistible. Not that you have to travel to Australia to see the eucalyptuses now. They're a very aggressive, fast-growing hardy tree that take over all they touch; Sicily, for example, was full of eucalyptuses, crowding out the native vegetation. Large forestry companies are pulling out all the stops to have them infest South America and, increasingly, the south of Africa too, because they mature so much faster than other hardwood trees. It's an environmental disaster in progress, one of those nasty environmental disasters that large companies can get 'environmentalist' credit for, because they plant all these trees under the rubric of reforestation.
But for a tree to survive and thrive in a desert continent like Australia, they'll take over the world elsewhere where things are friendlier if they're allowed. Mark my words, one day we'll think of eucalyptuses as Australia's answer to the syphilis conquistadors brought from South America via their rape of the indigenes: you dip the stick (or rather force it violently in), you pay for the oil . . . anyways. I'll go on more about that later.
So we watched The Proposition last weekend, and it was very beautiful to look at. I'm an absolute pig for Nick Cave, who wrote the script and co-wrote the soundtrack with another Bad Seed. The soundtrack was as good as I'd been expecting. The script . . . well, it was reassuringly unexceptional. If it had been very good I would be scared of Nick Cave's goodness. There were some nice moments of dialogue, particularly with the outlaws, but the way he wrote it for the police chief and his wife made suspending disbelief difficult - made it all a little too kabuki. The biggest revelation of the movie was that it made Guy Pearce attractive. For me - besides in Memento, in which I enjoyed his performance very much but which somehow didn't count because of the amnesia making him all appropriately vacuous - the man was unshakably Felicia from Priscilla. Even though I loved L.A. Confidential at the time, for example, his appearances as Ed always shook me out of my audienceship as I expected him to start singing "I Don't Care if the Sun Don't Shine." But The Proposition managed to get me wondering, during conferences and staff meetings, what he'd be like carnally, which I'd never wondered about Felicia.