Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Winona Forever

You soon can expect another film to use the lesbian predator device, this time with Natalie Portman as the prey. In Black Swan, to be released later this year, Portman plays a prima ballerina tormented by a younger dancer who may or may not be a figment of her imagination. In any case, the younger ballerina (Mila Kunis) has a stalker quality, and there is quite of bit of sexual/romantic activity between these two women.

But my interest in this film is not due to its lesbian subtext. I'm more interested in the fact that Winona Ryder is also in this film. I just love that she's making a comeback. No, she is not the leading ingenue she once was, but she is carving out interesting roles for herself at age 38 after self-destructing ten years ago. I didn't realize she was back until I recognized her in Star Trek last year, playing Spock's human mother. After being the It Girl of the 1990s, she unraveled. In 2001 she was arrested for shoplifting more than $5,000 of nice things from Saks in Beverly Hills—including a $760 cashmere Marc Jacobs sweater and pair of $80 cashmere Donna Karan socks. Hey, at least she still had some aesthetic sense while under the influence of too many prescription drugs. After an ugly trial, she was convicted of grand theft and sentenced to community service and drug counseling. If Timothy Leary is your godfather, which he is in her case, and if you grew up in a California commune, which she did, I think it's understandable that drugs might have an unhealthy presence your life. But she has apparently put that behind her and is still pursuing her craft of acting. I admire that she's taking supporting roles and becoming something of a character actor—more of an artist, I'd say, which seems to be her sensibility. As Johnny Depp once tattooed on his arm: Winona Forever! (Even though, after their breakup, he changed it to Wino Forever.)

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