10 April 2008
The best reason to walk into a Virgin Megastore is the off chance you will see Charlotte Gainsbourg browsing. After going through her recent filmography I’ve become totally entranced by Charlotte’s unusual sexiness.
Give me the first 45 minutes of Lemming over just about anything. Or, to be more precise, give me Charlotte Gainsbourg making dinner in a button-down shirt and jeans then serving it to a batshit insane Charlotte Rampling. I liked the film all the way up to the ridiculous lemming suicide metaphor.
Charlotte you’ll know from Science of Sleep. Amazing how she is so irresistible even next to the gorgeous Emma da Caunes, who, in Ma Mére, I believe actually lights the screen on fire.
Yet Charlotte blows the physically sexier one away with rhymes and un-made-up eyes. So nice with Gael, Golden the Pony Boy, running parallel to each other in backwards water dreams. So great and somehow rare when she smiles that you feel you’ve earned it just sitting in the audience.
In Happily Ever After, this Charlotte to add to the schema of the perfect woman: two men sit outside near recently used dinner table, the wife of the first walks out and says she knows what sexist things they are talking about and retreats indoors with plates, the wife of the second walks out and asks the men why they are on their fat asses and stalks back with some glasses. Charlotte, the wife of a third man, off screen, walks out and asks the men if they would like some more cake and then if she can have a cigarette—they both jump and light her up and trail behind saying “some guys have all the luck.”
You want her very much. Good to have a food fight with Charlotte every so often to break the tension and let her have her “Creep” trips at Virgin with Johnny Depp.
Perhaps in My Wife Is an Actress M Attal is trying a bit too hard to be Woody Allen. He does at least have Charlotte to play off the androgynous Keaton shirt and pants ensembles. A few moments might have been more unforgivable were they not French: playing “London Calling” when the characters went to London, putting in one bar sequence that was a Bacardi commercial (down to the red lighting) and allowing the sister character to smoke profusely throughout her pregnancy. As the 7th grade science class poster of a filthy middle-aged woman breathing out of a hole in her neck told me: Smoking Is Sexy. For Charlotte though smoking is great, definitively sexy. And if the Making Of docs are any indication, Charlotte smokes more off camera than on.
You can add Ludivine Sagnier to the list of gorgeous women Charlotte outpoints onscreen, though Ludivine was still a few years shy of her Swimming Pool stun gun body. The climactic line of the film totally killed me. In the context of his wife cheating on him with Terrance Stamp (this is somehow fairly plausible), Yvan is asking Charlotte over and over if she slept with him. She looks him in the eye (presumably, as this is all long shot) and says “No.” He says, “you’re a great actress.” Now this seems to me the most fucked up thing you could possibly say in the situation. I would slap him and leave forever. But she kisses and makes up. Because she’s Charlotte I guess.
The key realization came watching the extras for Science of Sleep—Charlotte is offscreen and purrs out out something droll: she sounds exactly like Grace Kelly.
Films that need to get made:
-One with Charlotte and Scarlett-Charlotte onscreen at once for the ultimate test of my affection.
-A Sofia Coppola biopic directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Charlotte Gainsbourg.