Monthly Archives: October 2009
Nick Hornby skilfully adapts Lynn Barber’s book of teenage memories. By Peter Bradshaw
A very unsentimental education it was, too. Nick Hornby has adroitly adapted and given a dramatic shape to the bestselling memoir by Lynn Barber, telling the true story of how, in the early 1960s, she was seduced as a 16-year-old schoolgirl by an older man. This sociopathic charmer’s seduction crucially extended to her poor old mum and dad, dazzling them into being complicit in the arrangement; along with their daughter, they went into a clenched denial about what was happening.
Seen from a certain angle, that could look like misery-lit, a story of sex abuse and class shame, were it not for the fact that it is extremely funny. Hornby’s screenplay catches the stranger-than-fiction absurdity nicely, and, although he softens the most excruciating moment from Barber’s book, his script gives the audience a clear view of the painful delusions of all concerned. Lone Scherfig directs, and there is a wonderful performance from 24-year-old newcomer Carey Mulligan as Lynn – here renamed Jenny – the heartbreakingly vulnerable pseudo-sophisticate earnestly cramming for her Oxbridge exams, and longing for real experience.
So Tom Cruise was Christian Bale’s model for alpha-male killer Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. Could it have been Corrie’s Phyllis Pearce who was behind Bale’s Batman?
Even by Tom Cruise’s standards, this hasn’t been a particularly great week for Tom Cruise. On Wednesday his publicist was forced to address comments made by Bronson Pinochet from Perfect Strangers – who accused Cruise of making “constant, constant unrelated homophobic comments” during the filming of Risky Business. And now it’s been revealed that he was also the inspiration for Christian Bale’s performance in American Psycho.
The film’s director, Mary Harron, told Black Book magazine that Bale initially struggled with the role of Patrick Bateman until he noticed Cruise’s “intense friendliness with nothing behind the eyes” during a David Letterman interview, and the rest is history.
This news won’t come as too much of a surprise to anyone who’s seen American Psycho, since Bateman channels Cruise’s dead-eyed sincerity and creepy intensity so perfectly that it’s a wonder the film didn’t end with him shouting: “One day, so help me God, I’ll star as a Nazi! A good Nazi with an eye-patch and a Californian accent!”
The original Captain Kirk was not featured in JJ Abrams’s acclaimed Star Trek film – though his colleague Spock was. Now both Shatner and Abrams have both expressed keenness for collaboration – but that doesn’t mean it should happen Continue reading… Continue reading