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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What a Delicious Tart!

Helena Bonham Carter in "A Pattern of Roses"

Helena Bonham Carter in "The King's Speech" as the Queen of England.

I watched Les Misérables and cried buckets (like everyone else) but after that, all I could think of was The Tart (that's not being like everyone else). I was floored by Helena Bonham Carter's portrayal of Mme Thénardier. To me, Helena Bonham Carter has always been the embodiment of English class. So, when I saw her in Les Misérables, my eyeballs popped. Now she has become the embodiment of BOTH English class and English crass. I trawled the web to find the footage of her vulgar strutting and blackened teeth seducing an English officer with a well-placed ummmm... hand grope. But all I could find was this footage that disappointingly has NONE of the provocative sway of the hips and vulgar display of shoulder. 

Watch the movie will ya?

It left me filled with disgust and admiration. Disgusted at the character she played, but in complete awe of the woman playing the part with so much skill that it fairly displaced the woman in my imagination.

This must be what a well-used French prostitute would look like in 1862... and I am gripped by the sight - a sort of vulgar fascination with the gaudy colors. I can almost smell her cheap perfume overlaid upon the sweat of squalor. Gee... you can smell the woman from off the big screen.

No one else I know has this reaction. Everyone else was floored by Anne Hathaway playing Fantine (the tart with a heart). Me... I preferred the pungent saltiness of Helena Bonham Carter playing Mme Thénardier (the heartless tart).


Open Kitchen Concept said...

I didn't watch Les Mis the movie but I like this actress too! I noticed her in Harry Potter and King's speech. She and Maggie Smith are amongst my fav British actresses

Celine said...

I always thought Mdm Thenardier was sadder to watch than Fantine or Cosette or Eponine... Because she remained the same crass disillusioned woman throughout. Ah but she provided comic relief in the plot!

Carter is an excellent actor. I rem watching her in Planet of the Apes, and had a mild shock every time I see her without fur on her face after that... Took me a few years to get over it! DiCaprio is the other thespian that becomes the character he plays

ankh said...

Oh yes, Carter was most excellent. I attribute it to the British culture and training in drama.. Their acting seems finer, more nuanced. It's an absolute joy to watch BBC programs at times.