Thursday, April 27, 2006

"Show Me Your Diamonds"

When was the last time (if ever) you saw Oprah's Toni Morrison adaptation / travesty, Beloved? I rewatched it last night with a friend and realized what an absolute comedy it is. Albeit a long one, Thandie Newton just steals the show as the ridiculously jabbering and saliva gushing eponymous character. Poor Thandie. This was the first movie I ever saw her in (to my knowledge, at least) and so my impression of her will always be of a drooling, vomiting, retarded ghosty. It doesn't help that she pisses mid-stride in Bertolucci's Besieged (while crying and dripping with snot). Actually, if you trace the trajectory of Newton's career, you will seldom find a excretion free film. Think about it. Yet, that's beside the point. Beloved. That's the topic. That the film works from an unsalvagable script doesn't help much. Consequences occur without our witnessing them. On minute, Oprah's alive and kicking, the next she's bed-ridden. Sethe's (Oprah) living daughter, Denver, develops agoraphobia midway through the film, even though we've seen her leave the house. Problematic plot developments pepper this absolutely passion-free script. Demme's direction doesn't help much either. The the actors deliver their lines straight into the camera is also a great detractor, one that spells more TV Movie than Major Motion Picture. But Thandie! Thandie, Thandie, Thandie! The scene where she cranes her head back, emulating the turtles she witnessed mating by the river, and attempts seductions by gurgling "touch me on the inside part, call my name," is one of the most pricelessly miscalculated moments of cinema! Really, it's that good. Err...bad.


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