Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Spin-Off, Season One: Episode 5

In the face of constant aversion I’m still a hopeless fan of David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I’ll desist from launching into another interminable diatribe on why it deserves praise, but I will say that one of the things I like about it – that’s quite obvious, but oh well – is gamut of characters covered. True, it’s almost a bildungsroman as all these characters unsubtly help Benjamin develop. I’m loath to picking favourites but – taking Ben, Daisy and Queenie out of the race, gun-to-my-head and I’d single out Tilda Swinton’s Elizabeth Allen who in a weird way emerges as one of the film’s most poignant characters even if she doesn’t really do anything.
This is a woman who visibly has a story to tell, that first meeting with Benjamin in the elevator is a lovely moment – what I love most is how Fincher frames Elizabeth as the antithesis of Daisy without ever making her a foil to that inevitable pairing. As a staunch fan of Cate, I don’t ever think of her while Elizabeth is on screen. I’ve never been able to submerge myself in the effusive love for Tilda across the blogoshphere; I haven’t seen enough of her work to. But her attention to subtleties is one of the things that defines her brilliance in The Curious Case of Benjamin, and although structuring Elizabeth’s story as one about swimming is a wee bit bland – I’d be most interested in seeing her do a variation on this character for the duration of an entire film. She has a knack for playing characters with harsher tones, and Elizabeth is no patsy – but there’s that palpable warmth emanating from her, I’d like to see Tilda get on that.
Meredith Logue and Tom Ripley continue their journey in The Talented Mr. Ripley

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