Friday, January 11, 2008

Anthony Lane

One great virtue of “The Orphanage” is its surfeit of women. We have just crawled to the end of a lopsided year in which many of the most popular movies, as well as those which are now straightening their ties and preparing for the awards season, suffered a kind of female elision. I thought Kelly Macdonald worked hard, and stirringly, to fight her corner in “No Country for Old Men,” but in the end the movie found too little time for her, and, as for “American Gangster” and “There Will Be Blood,” you would struggle to remember a single female face amid the tough guys. The most prominent woman was Katherine Heigl, round-bellied from her drunken rumpus in “Knocked Up,” a film that under the cover of its filthy patter marked a dismal retreat, cranking back the cause of women—not so much their social or sexual status as their raison d’être—to a stage so primitive that Hollywood sought to outgrow it decades ago. Carole Lombard would have taken one sip of a film like that and tipped it down the sink.

in this week's New Yorker

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