“Oh my God!” and “This is horrible!” clucked and gasped the audience of Please Give. They were responding to the film’s many cynical and self involved remarks. It wasn’t as antisocial as a Todd Solondz film, but people are unused to women representing and speaking their ugly truth on film. Nicole Holofcener’s movies show angry, bitchy, unhappy characters—usually women—in unflattering lights, such as laughingly wondering if you can fuck in a wheelchair, or hoping for the death of an elderly person. But unlike other directors who show the worst of human relationships—Neil Labute, for example—Holofcener has compassion for her characters. She and her actors create multidimensional portraits of women, mostly white and upper class. When she attempted to deal with race in Lovely & Amazing, it was awkward. For all the flaws and missteps in Holofcener’s movies, they address class when most films do not. There is honesty in these movies about how class separates people, how we hang out with our own kind, though sometimes I wonder how critical she is being. And her women, as horrible as they may be, are respected as whole fallible humans.
I’ve been living life as a Runaway. I saw the movie three times, I read the books Neon Angel and Joan Jett, watched Foxes, and cut my hair. This narrative has a pull over me, a grown lady who should be done with slouching and greasy hair. The Runaways, the books, and the interviews, especially of Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, are texts that clarify and complicate the meaning of child actors and musicians growing into adulthood.
Kristen Stewart is amazing. In interviews she’s not coy and cute, she’s weird and rude and awkward, defying the script of normal behavior. Her Internet lovers and haters seem obsessed with her nervousness and stuttering. Nothing seems to be a pose and that seems to piss people off, as if she should posture, stand straight and smile. The truth is in the YouTube commentariat, mean, gracious, and otherwise. One detractor says, “Kristen looks more like a hobo than a star.” That’s a good thing! Girl, meet me in the desert and we can be friends.
May 10th, 2010 / 9:47 am