“Is this over yet then, Freddie?” enquired a hungry guest at what felt like the longest and worst catered tea party in TV history. This was episode one of Vicious, ITV1′s new Monday-night sitcom starring the absolutely fabulous Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as long-term lovers and antagonists, Freddie and Stuart. Freddie is a moderately successful thespian with an inflated idea of his own sexual magnetism. Former barman Stuart is the domestic one, though judging by those stale Digestives and teeny tiny sandwiches, he’s not a likely contestant for The Great British Bake Off.
The two stars may be septuagenarians and the intrusive canned laughter an unwelcome throwback to the 70s, but Vicious seemed intent on proving that it’s not Last of the Summer Wine. The high-energy opening credits sequence featured blotchy Gerald Scarfe-style graphics on a red background, accompanied by a burst of The Communards “Never Can Say Goodbye”. After a brief establishing shot of a posh Georgian town house, we were straight into the quick-fire, back-and-forth bitching between our elderly flat-mates. The plot revolved around the death of an unseen chum called Clive and speculation over the sexuality of a good-looking young neighbour Ash (played by Welsh actor Iwan Rheon).
It was when Frances de la Tour made her appearance as Violet, an old friend of Freddie and Stuart, that the feeling of déjà vu really kicked in. Watching her hand wander up Ash’s thigh, I was transported back to seedy bedsit land in the 70s, where the actress played the amorous Miss Jones in Rising Damp. Rheon’s Ash doesn’t have quite as much hair as Richard Beckinsale in his pomp, but his function as a gormless object of desire seems pretty similar.
Previewing this show, at least one commentator was enthusiastic about seeing two gay characters centre stage, rather than sniping or simpering from the sidelines. The fact that two of our most distinguished actors – both of them gay – are portraying Freddie and Stuart, should have been another positive in terms of visibility. But leaving aside the sexual politics, Vicious is just a lukewarm excuse for a comedy that is resolutely old-fashioned both in conception and execution.
As the battle of the one-liners commenced, you could almost smell the desperation coming off both distinguished leads and a studio audience who’d been primed to scream with mirth at every gag. I’m sure McKellen and Jacobi would be great company if you met them down the pub for a few pints. But here the timing was way off as they rattled around a set that looked as though it had been constructed from the bits left over from every sitcom from Steptoe and Son onwards.
I didn’t laugh, but there were there were a few moments where I couldn’t resist a wry smile. A couple of minutes into the programme, the hashtag popped up in the corner of the screen, inviting viewers to share their merriment on Twitter. (I was watching after the event, so I missed finding out whether anyone was actually laughing.)
Then there was that collection of urns on Freddie and Stuart’s mantelpiece, holding the remains of several long-dead pets. It was a reminder of how moribund this type of British sitcom is these days. No amount of feeble jokes about Zac Efron or references to Lord Grantham can disguise the fact that this would have been out of date in Lord Lucan’s day. Those weren’t canine remains in the jars – they were the ashes of Leonard Rossiter, Ronnie Barker, Arthur Lowe and all the other greats from an era when Britain made comedies than were funny and not simply embarrassing.
Instead of wondering whether DI Hardy would drop dead before solving the case, I found myself asking why Tennant was growing that rather unattractive beard.
As the final credits rolled on ITV1′s Broadchurch, teary-eyed viewers contemplated that yawning gap in their Monday-night TV viewing. Some probably headed to the kitchen for a consolatory cup of tea; others plugged into Twitter to share in the social networking postmortem (should that be rehash?) on what has been huge critical and popular success. There was another very late twist – it turns out that it’s not all over. A message flashed up on screen saying “Broadchurch will Return”. I was so relieved, I felt like planting a big kiss on my David Tennant poster.
For most of the eight-episode run, I wasn’t really convinced by this slow-burning mystery about the death of an 11-year-old boy in a quiet seaside town. For me it was more a case of “Boredchurch”, as the investigation led by ailing DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and his resentful sidekick DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) seemed to be moving at a snail’s pace. There was antagonism between the cops and a lot of pent-up grief and anger amongst the dead boy’s nearest and dearest, but it wasn’t exactly compelling. Instead of wondering whether DI Hardy would drop dead before solving the case, I found myself asking why Tennant was growing that rather unattractive beard. Was it supposed to add gravitas to the character or did he just need something to scratch as he tried to pick his way through the list of suspects.
Throwing up (“barfing as the Americans call it) has now replaced crying in the shower as the drama writer’s stock way of showing a character in extremis
If you watched last night (or on ITV Player), you’ll already know that the killer of young Danny Latimer turned out to be DS Miller’s drippy husband Joe (played by Matthew Gravelle). Instead of staying at home playing devoted househusband and father to Ellie and their two boys, he was planning illicit “dates” with the object of his shameful affection, the bewildered Danny. Upon receiving the news that Joe would be unable to finish decorating their bedroom because he’d be bunking at one of Her Majesty’s prisons, poor Ellie resorted to blank denials, expletives and then vomiting.
Yes, it seems that throwing up (“barfing as the Americans call it) has now replaced crying in the shower as the drama writer’s stock way of showing a character in extremis. I can’t confirm whether Ellie actually left her breakfast on the floor of the interview room, because the merest hint of vomit leaves me feeling almost as nauseous as the sight of David Tennant’s cheek fuzz. Still, no dramatic clichés could detract from Olivia Colman’s superb performance as a woman who realises that she’s been harbouring a monster in her bed. I liked the fact that she was still trying to behave like a dedicated professional even as the case she’d been working on now threatened to destroy her own family. There was no self-pity: just anger at Joe and concern for her sons. Then, in an attempt to maintain a low profile, she put on her bright orange jacket and went for a walk.
This morning, Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall was interviewed on the beach at West Bay, Dorset, where some of the show’s most memorable scenes were filmed. It’s those West Country locations that have kept me interested, even when it seemed as though there weren’t quite enough subplots or twists to justify eight episodes. The fling between Danny’s father Mark (Andrew Buchan) and Aussie temptress Becca (Simone McAullay) might have fallen flat, but you were only ever a few minutes away from another lovely view. A stellar cast that included Andrew Buchan and Jodie Whittaker as Danny’s dysfunctional parents, and Vicky McClure as a tabloid journalist with a conscience, was the other big attraction. My favourite character was the caravan-dwelling cleaner, Susan Wright, played in very intimidating fashion by Pauline Quirke. Has anyone ever invested quite so much malevolence into the simple act of walking a dog?
The finale of Broadchurch delivered the murderer too early in the evening and left itself with nowhere to go, except for another long walk along the beach
I know this programme has taken some of its cues from the growing appetite for Scandi crime dramas like The Killing (Forbrydelsen), where the writers aren’t under pressure to wrap up the story in 40-odd minutes of neat Law & Order-style procedural. Chibnall is right to credit ITV1 – “They really took a punt on it” – for buying into the concept of a quality, long-running drama that is allowed time to build up an audience. Their reward has been a media frenzy over the last few days, with some over-excited publications trying to compare the finale of Broadchurch with the Dallas “Who shot JR?” cliffhanger.
The truth is that the finale of Broadchurch delivered the murderer too early in the evening and left itself with nowhere to go, except for another long walk along the beach. I would have thought the optimum time to reveal the killer was just before the final commercial break. Instead there was a brief preamble before DS Hardy finally caught the guilty man in his garden shed with the incriminating smartphone. I waited in vain for another twist or an even darker revelation about what Joe Miller might have been storing on son Tom’s battered laptop.
There will be one little mystery that tides me over until series two of Broadchurch. Was Ellie’s ruthless dispatching of the slug on the floor of the Miller house supposed to be symbolic? I like to think that trampling it ruthlessly underfoot was her own understated way of consigning her marriage to history. RIP.
When I watch The Servant, it’s always the voice of Cleo Laine singing “All Gone” that echoes around my head for hours. John Dankworth’s smoky torch song is as integral to Joseph Losey’s haunting psychological drama as Barrett, the unctuous manservant played by Dirk Bogarde, or Harold Pinter’s trenchant script.
Nearly 50 years after The Servant was first released, that combination of mellow voice, strings and lyrics filled with regret – “Leave it alone. It’s all gone” – remains irresistible. For Tony, the hapless bachelor so brilliantly played by James Fox, it’s the melodious accompaniment to his fireside lovemaking with Susan (Wendy Craig). By the end of the film it has turned into something horribly discordant – those stabbing strings mocking his decline into a life of booze and degradation, orchestrated by the manipulative Barrett. Tony can smash the record player, but he can’t shut off the sound of his own destruction.
Though there’s a lot more to The Servant than one song, it’s a good indication of how everything we see (and hear) is perfectly calibrated by Losey, Pinter and their collaborators. From the moment Barrett first arrives at the terraced house just off the King’s Road, Chelsea, those ticking and chiming clocks are hard to ignore. Like Douglas Slocombe’s immaculate black and white photography, the timepieces contribute to the increasingly claustrophobic atmosphere. When you add the exaggerated sound of a dripping tap and Barrett’s enormous shadow looming from the upper floors, The Servant would have made a great horror movie.
These days you’ll find more polyglot nannies in Chelsea than bowler-hatted Barretts, but this dissection of the shifting balance of power between callow master and wily servant remains fascinating. Dirk Bogarde dominates proceedings, of course, even when he’s offscreen. But it’s a measure of his greatness that he doesn’t completely overshadow the contributions of James Fox, Sarah Miles or Wendy Craig. The homoerotic subtext of the Tony/Barrett relationship has been much discussed, but there are only glimpses of camp when they squabble over domestic arrangements. The enduring power of this film lies in the fact that Barrett and his seductive “sister” Vera (played by Sarah Miles) remain unreadable and unknowable.
Far from being a sterile exercise in art house film-making, The Servant delights in sly humour – from the lingering shot of Thomas Crapper’s sanitary ware emporium, to an absurd conversation about ponchos and capes. Made four years later, Accident also has its lighter moments, as Losey and Pinter examine hypocrisy and infidelity amongst a group of middle-class academics.
Accident was adapted by Pinter from the novel by Nicholas Mosley, and visually it is the antithesis of the earlier film. We’ve moved from austere, wintry west London to the glories of an Oxford summer – punting, cricket, tennis and Sunday lunches that last all day. Bogarde and Stanley Baker play a pair of middle-aged dons who share a mutual interest in a beautiful but vacuous Austrian student (played by the very French Jacqueline Sassard). Her other suitor William (Michael York), supplies the doomed upper-class element in a story that begins with a fatal car crash and then shows the betrayals that led up to it.
Accident is a dazzling and seductive piece of film-making that gives Bogarde another excellent role as the conflicted Philosophy tutor, Stephen. Married with two kids and another on the way, he appears simultaneously entrenched in and detached from his world of privilege and beauty. He’s also frustratingly passive in the face of boorish behaviour by Baker’s character, Charley. There’s something theatrical about a film that locates many of its key moments – a birth, a violent death, illicit sex – offscreen. Like Stephen, the viewer is never quite in the right place at the right time, leaving many questions unanswered.
Unlike conventional romantic dramas, Accident doesn’t move towards an emotionally satisfying resolution to the web of tangled relationships. Sequences like Stephen’s meeting with old flame Francesca (Delphine Seyrig) don’t unfold in the way you might expect. So instead of a conventional montage, scored with appropriate mood music, we get pictures and dialogue that are jarringly out of sync. Even more startling is a conversation between Stephen and his wife Rosalind (played by Pinter’s wife Vivien Merchant) that takes place at the end of a long garden. When the reverse shot suddenly reveals that they’re also sitting right next to a river, it’s as though we’ve just cut to a completely different day and location.
Dirk Bogarde is far too cerebral to rank with mainstream 60s cultural icons like The Beatles, James Bond and Michael Caine. But the two emotionally complex films he made with Joseph Losey and Harold Pinter prove that style and substance weren’t mutually exclusive in that “swinging” decade.
A digitally restored print of The Servant was shown as part of the 27th BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. The Servant and Accident are both released on DVD and Blu-ray by StudioCanal on 8 April.
(Review first published at The Huffington Post.)
“Once upon a time in South Central . . .” Opening with police sirens, screeching tyres and the first of innumerable F-words, the aural landscape of David Ayer’s End of Watch seems very familiar. This LA-set police drama is not a radical reworking of the genre, but it does provide some new angles on a career in law enforcement. That’s partly because the “found footage” style of camera work allows the audience to walk (and run) in the footsteps of two very likeable LAPD officers.
Officer Brian Taylor (a shaven-headed, bulked-up Jake Gyllenhaal) and his Mexican-American partner Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) work out of Newton Division. Brian is studying film-making (as part of a Pre-Law course), so he’s constantly recording and commentating both during and after their shifts. Inside the patrol car it’s all banter and male bonding, as these buddies riff about their women – “Dude are you gonna hook up with a Mexican girl?” – and their aspirations. Outside, they save two kids from their crack-addicted parents, tackle a huge blaze and get into an impromptu fight with the angry “Mr Tre”.
For about half an hour, End of Watch reminded me of TV’s Southland, with its hand-held filming, dry humour and emphasis on routine crimes. But there is more going on here than ride-alongs and Brian’s budding romance with the perky Janet (played by Anna Kendrick). The opening scene shows our gung-ho heroes in a high-speed pursuit that ends with two men dead. That same fearless approach informs their later discovery of a house of horrors that is linked to drugs, people trafficking and a Mexican cartel. Warned that there is a hit out on them, a smiling Brian points out that everyone wants to kill them. Soon complacency gives way to panic in the bravura, all-guns-blazing, blood-soaked climax.
Writer-director Ayer’s previous films include Training Day, Dark Blue and Street Kings, so he’s certainly on familiar ground with the LAPD. The actors had several months of preparation for their roles and it has paid off – the Taylor-Zavala partnership is the linchpin of the movie. The softly spoken Gyllenhaal brings more self-confidence and physical presence than you might expect to his part as an ambitious young officer. Equally watchable is Peña, who wrings every ounce of humour out of Ayer’s droll script. David Harbour relishes his lines as veteran cop Van Hauser, the duo’s main antagonist: “Bad guys attack from the front. Department comes in from the rear.”
After Brian’s opening voice-over – “I am fate with a badge and gun” – I was worried that there would be excessive mythologizing of the LAPD here. Ayer’s film is certainly a long way from the LA of The Shield, where corruption and brutality are the only effective way to tackle crime. But I found it refreshing to have two heroes who aren’t weighed down by cynicism and tormented by inner demons.
With strong performances, a sharp script and some full-on action sequences, End of Watch is an entertaining ride. Its weak point is a narrow focus that never gives us much background on the cartel or its impact on the community. This is about the survival of two cops, rather than an examination of organised crime or the shifting demographics of 21st-century LA. So the local Mexican “enforcers” who eventually come after Taylor and Zavala prove to be annoying, incompetent and foul-mouthed, to the point where I wanted to mute them. The incessant use of the same expletive may be realistic, but it doesn’t make for compelling viewing.
End of Watch is released on DVD and Blu-ray by StudioCanal on Monday 18 March.
This review was first published at http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk
The transition from avid Pope watching to fervent Argie bashing was almost seamless. Less than 24 hours after Pope Francis I (the one-lunged Pontiff) made his first balcony appearance in Saint Peter’s Square, the British press was reminding us of supposedly inflammatory comments he made 12 months ago about the Falkland Islands. Speaking on the 30th anniversary of the start of the Falklands War, Jorge Bergoglio (as he was then), led prayers for the fallen and referenced the disputed territory as “the country that is theirs and they were usurped”.
Meanwhile, The Guardian had its own axe to grind, delving into the murky history of the Argentine junta in the 70s and 80s and Bergoglio’s role as part of the discredited Catholic hierarchy of that era.
Not to be outdone, The Sun weighed in with its “Hand of God” headline – a none-to-subtle reference to Diego Maradona’s controversial “goal” for Argentina against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final. By tonight, I fully expect to be reading that the new Pope Francis cheats at cards and has been caught riding the bus in Buenos Aires without paying.
I’m not a Catholic but I am a sports fan, and the real story here seems to be Britain’s longstanding antipathy towards lying, cheating Argies of all shapes and sizes. On the same night that Pope Francis was elected, Andy Murray was having a run in with Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. The Scot eventually won their fourth-round match 7-6, 6-4, but he was enraged by his opponent’s “extremely, extremely loud” grunting at key moments during the match.
“Murray annoyed at stupid grunt”, claims The Sun, in what by that paper’s high standards is a rather limp headline. I’d have gone with something a bit more indignant – “Muzza blasts grunting Argie”. That might strike a chord with the Telegraph reader who quipped earlier today in reference to Pope Francis, “I thought we’d sunk the General Bergoglio”.
Having listened to the brief clip on the paper’s website, I think Muzza does have legitimate cause for complaint. As far as I know, Andy’s never criticised his good friend and rival Rafael Nadal for inappropriate on-court noises. That’s probably because the Spaniard keeps his grunting at a consistent level throughout – much like his legendary whipped topspin forehand. So let’s hope that Berlocq doesn’t team up with Victoria Azarenka or Maria Sharapova for mixed doubles, or the decibel count will be well off the Larcher de Brito scale.
Closer to home, another Argentine we love to hate is in trouble yet again this week. Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez has been charged with driving his white Porsche while disqualified and without insurance. If found guilty he could face a jail sentence, a fine, or even an ASBO, though probably not a lengthy spell in manager Roberto Mancini’s bad books. Unlike the British press, Mancini has been notable for his forgiving attitude towards Tevez – whatever the provocation. Last weekend he joked “I hope that the police can stop him every day”, after Carlos celebrated his arrest by scoring a hat-trick against Barnsley in the FA Cup.
But there are some Argentine sportsmen who enjoy an unsullied reputation. In the 70s we marvelled at the muscular tennis player Guillermo Vilas, whose successes in the mid-70s have been rather overshadowed by those of Bjorn Borg. A few years later, there was Gabriela Sabatini, whose film-star looks are now ideal for promoting her own range of perfumes.
Formula One fans still revere Juan Manuel Fangio, who won five world championships, survived a kidnapping and heart surgery and lived to the ripe old age of 84.
But perhaps the greatest Argentine sports star is the man who was dominating the headlines 24 hours before Pope Francis. The majestic Lionel Messi scored two goals on Tuesday night, to help Barcelona beat AC Milan 4-0 in the second leg of their Champions League tie. Carlos Tevez may struggle with tricky English words like “constabulary”, but for the prolific Messi, “phenomenal” and “fantastic” don’t really need translating.
The middle section of We Have a Pope appears to have been flattened by a massive dose of Mogadon.
We Have a Pope (Habemus Papam) gets off to colourful start, with the masses in Saint Peter’s Square feasting their eyes on a sea of red capes, white lace and ecclesiastical bling. In real life I’d probably be even less interested in the outcome of a papal conclave than a talent show presided over by creepy Simon Cowell. On paper, though, Nanni Moretti’s film promises swingeing satire and perhaps some searching questions about how the Roman Catholic Church chooses its leader. Unfortunately he’s bottled it – serving up a comedy so mild it should come with a Papal Seal of Approval.
Michel Piccoli stars as Cardinal Melville, chosen by his peers to be the new Pope after lengthy deliberations and much collective boredom. It turns out that no one really wanted the job (“Not me, Lord”), so Melville is just the poor schmuck who’s drawn the short straw. In a wonderfully anti-climactic moment he fails to appear on the balcony to greet the faithful, instead collapsing behind the scenes with a howl of anguish.
Moretti and his co-writers Francesco Piccolo and Federica Pontremoli give us a promising set-up with all the trimmings. Scenes of pageantry and media hype are effectively juxtaposed with the fragile and doubt-ridden mortals who comprise the College of Cardinals. One of them has a face so cadaverous it looks like the work of El Greco. In this unprecedented crisis, top psychoanalyst Brezzi (played by Moretti) is drafted in to counsel the anxiety-stricken Pope-elect. But he just ends up being sequestered along with all the Cardinals, while Melville sneaks off on an extended walkabout in the Eternal City.
During his distinguished career the 85-year-old Piccoli has gazed upon many of the heavenly bodies of French cinema – including Bardot, Deneuve and Béart. It’s a bit hard to reconcile that virile screen presence with the white-haired and rather frail figure we see playfully waving to the Swiss Guards. While Melville’s problems may be put down to parental deficit disorder, Piccoli is hampered by a far more straightforward case of a meandering script.
If you were hoping for skeletons in the papal closet, forget it. Apart from a few angry outbursts, punctuated by chats with his stressed-out spokesman (Jerzy Stuhr), what we get is a weary old man who once harboured dreams of being an actor. A consultation with Brezzi’s wife (also a shrink) yields a couple of gags but doesn’t go anywhere. Our runaway Pontiff needed something more solid on which to anchor his anxieties than a local production of The Seagull.
A comedy so mild it should come with a Papal Seal of Approval.
Back at the Vatican, there’s a plump Swiss Guard gorging himself in the Pope’s suite, while Brezzi tries to keep the cardinals happy with a volleyball tournament and advice about their pharmaceutical intake. But it’s the middle section of this movie that appears to have been flattened by a massive dose of Mogadon. Moretti’s peculiarly Italian brand of neurosis can be fun – in moderation – but what we need is more of Stuhr’s enterprising spin-doctor and a genuine sense of tension.
We Have a Pope ticks all the right boxes in terms of lighting, set design and cinematography. The best scenes in the film show the lone figure of Melville crushed by the sheer opulence of his surroundings, the burden of history and the weight of expectation. The climactic scene in which the cardinals finally track down the escapee in a theatre is also well choreographed.
If the Catholic Church had hired Moretti to make a commercial he could hardly have done a better PR job – all those lovely costumes, genial characters and not a whiff of scandal. But you do wonder how the film-maker who lambasted Silvio Berlusconi in The Caiman (Il Caimano) could have gone so soft. Perhaps he had one eye on the hereafter.
(Review first published as part of Sound on Sight’s coverage of the BFI London Film Festival 2011.)
I have a confession to make. I’m not very excited about the forthcoming release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, directed by the not-so-amazing Marc Webb. It’s the follow-up to 2012′s The Amazing Spider-Man, which I also gave a wide berth. I know that leaves a big question mark hanging over my movie geek credentials, but I don’t care. At least I don’t spend my time hanging round message boards posting mean comments about young actresses like Shailene Woodley, who have the temerity to look like real women instead of fantasy figures.
I have Twitter to thank for alerting me to the furore surrounding the publication yesterday of some on-set pictures of Shailene Woodley, who’s been cast as Mary Jane Watson in the new Spidey flick. No sooner had the website Cinema Blend unveiled some shots of Woodley and her co-star Andrew Garfield, than the trolls took a dump over them – figuratively speaking. Woodley has had her hair dyed auburn to play M-J, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy the fanboys. “Looks horrible as a redhead,” was one of the kinder comments in a no-holds-barred discussion that reached its nadir with this exchange:
“Omg she looks horrible I hope they can do something with that face of hers” (Posted by anonymous troll “Dee”)
“Burn it with fire” (Posted by anonymous troll “balls”)
No doubt “Dee” and “balls” would justify their ignorant, vituperative nonsense as nothing more than friendly banter. But since Taliban victim Aesha Mohammadzai has also been in the news this week, jokes about facial disfigurement don’t really cut it with me any more.
Today Cinema Blend has posted a follow-up piece, declaring that those who criticised Woodley’s looks “don’t deserve the movie”. Apparently this wasn’t the only site where fans of the Spider-Man franchise vented their spleen about Woodley’s inadequacies or as Cinema Blend puts it, her “natural looks”. Underneath a semi-glamorous shot of the actress, Editor-in-Chief Katey Rich takes the trolls, misogynists and fanboys to task for failing to distinguish between comic-book fantasy and reality. She tries to redress the balance, by arguing that Woodley’s success in the role should be judged on the basis of her acting – not her looks. Sadly, the notion that an actress in a big-budget comic-book franchise wouldn’t be rated solely in terms of her appearance is pure fantasy.
Cinema Blend’s distaste for some of its readers would be more convincing if they’d taken down the offensive exchange, or moderated the comments, or offered some kind of riposte at the bottom of the original piece. But we’re all so inured to anonymous strangers using message boards to denigrate women that no one thinks censorship or intervention is necessary.
There are certain cinema franchises where the casting decisions attract more than the usual level of scrutiny, but is that any excuse for just being abusive? When Daniel Craig was first chosen to play James Bond in Casino Royale he wasn’t everyone’s idea of 007 heaven. I remember people complaining that he was too blonde, too rugged or just too ugly to play Ian Fleming’s super-smooth spy. Some of those doubters changed their minds after they clapped eyes on a dripping-wet Daniel emerging from the ocean in his tiny blue swimming trunks. Yes, male actors are also relentlessly objectified.
It’s lucky that Cinema Blend didn’t use the same (free) picture of Woodley that I’ve got at the top of this post. The star of The Descendants and The Secret Life of the American Teenager is a mature and intelligent performer, but she does not have perfect skin. I shudder to think what the die-hard comic-book lovers would have said about a Mary-Jane with spots instead of a D-cup.