Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Looks, presence and power

I am an Elizabeth Taylor fan.  Manohla Dargis summed it up:

"Ms. Taylor managed the role of sex object effortlessly as if it too were just part of the job. In contrast to so many other actresses, she seemed as desiring as desirous, with the gift of a thrillingly unladylike appetite. She was a great lover of food, of course, as her cruelly documented weight gains make evident. Yet the appetite that appeared to drive, at times even define her, exceeded mere food to include everything, and her consumption of men, booze, jewels and celebrity itself was an astonishment."

However contrived and improbable the stories, her performances in "Place in the Sun" and "Butterfield 8" conveyed a passion and humanity that were consistent with her later public discussions about a studio system that gave her 2 weeks off after the death of her husband Mike Todd, and her later support for AIDS activism. Who knows what really goes on in the lives of the impossibly rich and famous - not me for sure. But to the extent our lives are bombarded with celebrity-dom, I liked it that rich gorgeous Liz made it a believable part of part of her public persona to stick up for herself and for the socially excluded. So, a salute.

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