Saturday, April 08, 2006

Filmmakers I adore: Uma Thurman

Um… apologise about the mediocrity of this post. I really do admire Uma more than this, but I happen to have slight writer’s block today. Sorry Uma.

This tall, blonde-haired auteur exudes coolness, but, shrouded in enigma, exudes talent too.

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Although I dislike Quentin Tarantino, I do think that Uma’s best performances have all generally been under his direction, and thus she shouldn’t be in a hurry to drop him soon. The characters he has written for her have reached iconic status; Mia Wallace the coolest screen smoker since a young Julie Christie, radiating poise in every frame, and redefining a genre with her distinctive dancing, penchant for the powder, and fingering the squares; and Beatrix Kiddo, the ruthless but humane killer is quoted by overzealous fanboys world over.

In Kill Bill she plays one of the world's best assassins, who is out fir revenge against her former lover. To play Beatrix Kiddo, Thurman needed immense physical strength, but also charisma, style and ability. And, to quote Nathaniel, Thurman has those in spades, bringing us a memorable, intense character, utterly compelling to watch, even at the most extreme moments of violence. QT’s dedication for her almost redeems his part in wrecking her marriage, which brings us neatly onto…

Ethan Hawke, who is very fine. But I honestly don’t think he can ever have chemistry with anyone like he does with Uma. In Gattaca, they sizzle and fully convince as in Romeo-and-Juliet-type romance, producing one of the photogenic, most convincing screen-duos in years. Even in Tape, where their characters aren’t keen on each other, there is the discernible trace of frission there. Ooh La La. Under his direction too, she has done well, performing reliably in Chelsea Walls, though the film itself was terrible.

Those two men aside, she’s lucky if her projects don’t reek of mediocrity. The Avengers was terrible, Be Cool was an embarrassing “sequel,” which, incidentally, wasn’t cool at all, and Mad Dog and Glory bored me. However, she’s gotten lucky sometimes. In Beautiful Girls, she was lovely as the mysterious Andera, and similarly as charming in The Truth About Cats and Dogs, creating a believable dilemma for the male romantic lead. And for her Golden Globe winning turn in Hysterical Blindness, she was amazing. So she can survive without them, which is encouraging. Of her upcoming movies, I await Bee Movie and Prime. The Women will probably make me drive my fist into a brick wall. But I’ll see it nonetheless, because it has Uma.

Best Performances
01. As “The Bride” in Kill Bill
02. As Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction
03. As Irene Cassell in Gattacca
04. As Amy Randall in Tape
05. As Andera in Beautiful Girls

Best Films
01. Nausicaä
02. Kill Bill
03. Tape
04. The Truth About Cats & Dogs
05. Gattaca


MysticFist said...

I had forgotten just how much I liked Uma in everything I saw her in! Tape has suddenly become one of those films I desperately need to see, as I like everyone in it. Yeah, even the weird guy who overacts.

Clara said...

I like her acting style. Her face is a bit horsey, don't you think?

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