great actress people

‘Cause she’s awesome – Sally Hawkins

First of all, happy birthday, Sally Hawkins. And what better day to write about her than her birthday!

I always like to remember my personal history with actors and actresses (okay, mainly with actresses, men just don’t fathom much in my life). Ms. Hawkins and I were actually up to a little bit of a bumpy start since I did not like the first movie I watched (at least I remember it as the first) with her: Happy Go Lucky. I know what you’re thinking, a person who hates Happy Go Lucky possibly hates little puppies and baby elephants, not to mention videos of cutesy penguins being tickled. Well, I don’t, I just hate watching movies about overly enthusiastic people (enthusiastic about life, that is). There are moments when I thought, well, the actress is something else but what an annoying character she is portraying.

The next thing you know I recognized her in Tipping the Velvet – by her voice actually. I thought, hey, I know that voice. Zena, the much too small part she played in Tipping the Velvet, was thankfully a rather practical character and I liked her. And I started recognizing Sally Hawkins. And she is in pretty much everything that comes out of Britain, she’s everywhere, or maybe I am just watching things she is in – I don’t know anymore which is the case.

Although, coming across her in Never Let Me Go was quite conincidental. As I said in the post about the movie, I came across it rather unknowingly and then I saw Sally and I was like: “Sally Hawkins, yay!” Her role was so earnest, so close to what the audience was feeling at that point, and she also enlightened us finally on the part of the protagonists, about what was going on. A thankful role and wonderfully acted out by Hawkins.

Her amazingly intense portrait of Sue Trinder in Fingersmith is one of my favorites, naturally. No question, I loved the novel, but the movie I actually watched two times in a row, just because, and Sally Hawkins was one of the reasons it was so compelling (if you haven’t watched yet, make sure you do and soon). She was Anne Elliot in Persuasion, not one of anybody’s favorite Jane Austen heroines but she portrayed her as less neurotic and more persuasive (yes, I know, pun and all) than Austen made her.

She was in An Education, in Layer Cake, and now, most recently, in Jane Eyre. She is wonderful as all the supporting characters you ever loved, or loved to hate but she is absolutely fabulous when leading a cast of talented actresses (and actors) as in We Want Sex.

Cheers to Sally Hawkins.

adaptation (literature) awareness coming-of-age Drama great actress lesbian subtext people science fiction Teenager Utopia/Dystopia

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go (2010) by Mark Romanek

Unexpectedly, I watched a really good movie this week. Why unexpectedly? Because I watch movies for the strangest of reasons. For Never Let Me Go the reason was that the novel it was based on was written by Kazuo Ishiguro and I remembered that he had also written The Remains of the Day. Not that I have read either novel but I do believe that some novelists write perfect stories for movies and I guess Ishiguro is one of them – all based on the fact that I love The Remains of the Day.

I did not read the short synopsis for the film so I was utterly unprepared for what was to come. The movie catapults us into a strange ultimate universe – without telling us so, after all everything looks just like good ol’ Britain to me – where clones are bred as inventories for human spare parts. The kids that grow up to be donors live in special homes out in the country without interaction with the outside world.

The story follows three of these kids, Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Ruth (Keira Knightley), and Tommy (Andrew Garfield), whose lives are interwoven as they befriend and fall in love with each other. Ruth turns out to be rather selfish in that love since she pretty much steals Tommy away from Kathy out of – as she later confesses – jealousy. Though she states that she was jealous of the love that grew between Kathy and Tommy there are also indications that she may have been in love with Kathy (I don’t know what the novel says about this but I may yet find out…).

As they grow up their paths devide but will ultimately reunite the three. Ruth makes her confession and Kathy and Tommy try to recapture what they had. But their time is short as they are heading toward their conclusion – which is just a nicer way to say: death.

The story is captivating, the idea of a world where humans breed clones for spare parts is scary but is never really moralized over within the movie, the spectator is to draw their own conclusions as to the question: do clones have souls?

The acting is great. Besides the wonderful three leads (and also the very talented younger selfs – Isobel Meikle-Small, Ella Purnell, Charlie Rowe) we have Charlotte Rampling as Miss Emily who leads the home the three live in, and Sally Hawkins as Miss Lucy, a teacher who critiques the system a little bit too audibly. And let me tell you, Keira Knightley can be quite scary!

This is a great movie and finally an innovative story. Hollywood does not do innovative that much these days so maybe we have to turn to Brititsh movie making to see something good these days…