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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Supporting Actress Blogathon & Review of Damage

I'm thrilled at the chance to participate in an upcoming blogathon at StinkyLulu's site ( I'm a long-time fan of his supporting actress blogathons, where he and guests look back at nominated Supporting Actress performances and critique them. I am even more excited to participate in 1992's blogathon, the year when Marisa Tomei beat 4 British thespians and spawned an urban legend that the wrong name was read (

So, in the next few weeks look for reviews of the following films that contain 1992 nominated supporting actress performances:

-Damage (Miranda Richardson)
-Enchanted April (Joan Plowright)
-Howards End (Vanessa Redgrave)
-Husbands and Wives (Judy Davis)
-My Cousin Vinny (Marisa Tomei)

and my first screening was......

Damage (1992)

I found Damage, Louis Malle's very serious and dramatic depiction of an erotic affair between a young woman and her fiance's father, fairly ridiculous in many ways. Little is given in the way of character development and, when it is given, it often feels patently false. The first hour consists of repeated scenes of Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche sneaking around and having trysts in various locales. The sex scenes are ludicrous and the characters' motivations and actions rarely believable. Jeremy Irons, who can be a great actor, also seems wooden and emotionless throughout the movie.

In my opinion the best part of the movie was Juliette Binoche, a great French actress (I love her later work in Blue, The English Patient, and Cache). While her character is drawn with broad sketches, she hints at layers underneath. I think the movie would have been much more interesting if it had been told from her perspective rather than Irons', but as in most films, male desire and psychology is given greater precedence.

Miranda Richardson was nominated for a role in which she was supremely miscast, the wife of Jeremy Irons. She plays the mother of 29-year-old actor Rupert Graves when she was (wait for it....) all of 34 years old. I could never buy that she was actually his mother. Nevertheless, she does her best with the role and has probably the movie's most emotional moment in a later scene.

I must admit that the movie was somewhat entertaining in a laughable way, but I don't recommend spending two hours of your time watching it.

Grade: C-

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