Thursday, October 20, 2005

My So-Called Shopgirl

I've had a soft spot for Claire Danes ever since My So-Called Life. Girlfriend was 15 when that shit was made. 15! Since then, she's had some ups and downs. I tend to think that people have been a little too hard on Claire. She's not mainstream Hollywood, but she's not creepy like Jack Nicholson or crazy like Tom Cruise. Plus, she attends poetry readings and she takes crazy artisitic risks -- like doing some "out there" modern dance that will do little more than elicit mockery from most gossip bloggers. That's much harder than wearing manolos or jumping on Oprah's couch. The girls got guts.

Anyway, the NYT gives Shopgirl, Claire's new film, a pretty glowing review.
American commercial cinema is happy to crack dirty jokes and sing maudlin hymns to matrimony, but "Shopgirl," which is both funny and sweetly sad, aims for something other than salaciousness or sentimentality. It is partly about how the specter of love can give ordinary life a feeling of risk and enchantment, a process that Mr. Tucker discreetly recapitulates on screen. The crisp and lovely images (shot by Peter J. Suschitzky), though never self-consciously pretty, turn drab daily reality into a satisfying aesthetic experience. And the movie's jewel-like moments of humor and disappointment are tastefully laid out on the velvet cushion of Barrington Pheloung's luxurious orchestral score.

and later:
Ms. Danes, whose performance is flawless, is certainly lovely enough to invite such admiration, but she does not go out of her way to solicit it. The movie's conceit depends upon our ability to believe that Mirabelle, who moved to California from Vermont, is lonely and overlooked - not quite an ugly duckling, but someone whose diffident, melancholy temperament might render her invisible in a world more interested in flashy display.

Something about the phrase "a world more interested in flashy display" seems suggestive of exactly why some people are not so hot on CD. Anyway, I have high hopes for the movie. So don't be a hater!!

Read the rest of the NYT review here.

4 comments:

nhennies said...

I'd just like to point out that "Shopgirl" was Meg Ryan's screenname in "You've Got Mail". I'm sorry that I know that.

Emily said...

Hi Michelle,
I too am excited for Shopgirl, but I have to confess that it's not because of Claire Danes.

I didn't discover the magical world of depression until I was about 18 and didn't deal with serious self-loathing until I entered grad school, so I really couldn't stand My So Called Life. I just remember feeling like: how can someone be so down on themselves ALL the time!? I mean, can't she ever have a freaking good day or like her parents even a little bit?!

And even though I really loved her in Romeo and Juliet, I've just never warmed to her entirely.

BUT, like I said, I am excited for Shopgirl b/c I absolutely love Steve Martin's writing, and I'm assuming he did the screenplay since he wrote the book, which I never read (waiting for the movie, ya see).

Here are links to my two favorite pieces by him:

http://www.compleatsteve.com/essays/talkingpoints.htm

http://www.compleatsteve.com/essays/cd_hell.htm

zp said...

I wish I could see that dance thing . . . no hate here.

femme feral said...

I know not everyone shares my enthusiasm for My so-called life. One of the reasons I liked that show is likely because, as someone who spent the years ages 12-26 in some ambient state of self-loathing and depression, I could really identify with Angela. The suburban, dimly lit houses, the shifting friendships, the boy who liked you only when you helped him with his homework . . .plus, I loved the manic panic hair (and I still do). And I still think the writing and acting in the show is great.