Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Depressing movies with handsome men

This weekend, T and I saw The Road at the cheap show. I would never have thought that I would be depressed at full on views of Viggo Mortensen's naked butt, but when you can see the tail end of the tail bone, it isn't so pretty. I prefer to remember Viggo as the bullish, naked, fighter-in-showers of Eastern Promises, the grungy sand-faced cowboy from Hidalgo, the father with a history of violence, and, of course, as Strider. But, he does an amazing piece of work here, and his portrayal of a determined father at the end of the world is haunting and hypnotic.

The filming is weirdly beautiful in dismal grays, with mysterious looks at 'things' that resolve themselves in a horrifying manner. I love a good horror flick, and heaven help me that post-apocalyptic horrors are a sub-genre favorite of mine, but The Road is not a movie I love. But, I do admire it, and wish it didn't make me so uncomfortable about the future.

And then, there's The Libertine, with Johnny Depp at his most beautiful (is that even possible?) degrading his way into a syphilitic facelessness in a fairly short span of years. Johnny is John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, a rakish and unrepentant poet and dilettante who abducts his wife-to-be, has multiple mistresses, and has a complicated relationship with the king.

Another movie I don't love, but do admire in how quickly it establishes the grungy underbelly of courtly life in the late 1600's. The theatre itself is a character here, rowdy and relevant to daily life. The movie shifts from erotic dreaminess to ghastly nightmare, all in gorgeous dress. Maybe I like it better than I thought I did. At least, in the end, we see Johnny at his prettiest again.

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