« Tuesday 200 - #15 | Main | Keep Looking Up »

Just A Gigolo

I watched The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone today. It was the 2003 version with Helen Mirren in the title role, as opposed to the 1961 film starring Vivien Leigh (which is not available on LoveFilm ... the UK version of NetFlix). If anyone has access to a copy, please let me know. An insane actress playing an insane actress just has to be good.

For those unfamiliar, it's based on Tennessee Williams' 1950s novella. The story's about the "drifting" Karen Stone, a fading American stage actress, who finds herself in Rome having an affair with an Italian rentboy. It's an excellent read, and I recommend it highly. If you can read it in Rome, in bed with an Italian rentboy, all the better.

So here's what I found odd. There are two main Italian men in the film. In today's version, they're played by a Frenchman and a Brazilian. Apparently there are no Italian actors.

Maybe the director said, "I insist on no one playing their own nationality." The Contessa (the shrewish pimp to the rentboys) is played beautifully by Anne Bancroft. Helen Mirren pulls off the American crazy lady with aplomb. Sort of like Norma Desmond on Prozac.

Speaking of pulling off, one can't complain about watching Olivier Martinez naked and sweaty (all the more reason to take against Kylie). And an unshaven, beggarly, homeless Rodrigo Santoro, consumed with desperate longing, reaching into his fly and rubbing his gray underwear ... well ...

Wonder if we'll see that on Lost this year.