I love to quote in the AM, " I don't need you to tell me how f*cking good my coffee is, okay? I'm the one who buys it. I know how good it is. When [Mr. Stoney] goes shopping [he] buys SH*T. I buy the gourmet expensive stuff because when I drink it I want to taste it."
A lot of times (say, in Death Proof) his dialogue is so clearly written to be read, and not said, and not many actors can get them out without them sounding like "Tarrantino Soliloquies" [the whole Jungle Julie character, cannot stand that character OH MY GOD, nor the actress that played her] but then you have someone like Samuel L. Jackson do the whole "Hah-wah-yan burger" bit and it's just awesome. "Mind if I have some of your tasty beverage to wash my burger down?"
"I gotta go pee." <-- I love the whole diner sequence in the movie. Every bit of that is gold. Also the whole Madonna "Like a Virgin" bit in Reservoir Dogs. Hilarious. "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right..." OK, enough of that dudebro.
Can I also tell you how badly I want this dress? So much that I'm buying it later today, that's how badly. PROBLEMS OF THE WORLD, SOLVED HERE.
I feel like I'm the only person watching the OUTSTANDING show, In Treatment. True? No? I have to say, as an actor, this show is a GOLDMINE of "how to's."
In Treatment: Sunil, SPOILERS
Ok, I'm assuming you're watching the show from this point on. Irffan Khan, the actor who plays Sunil, is un-freaking-believablely astounding. Seriously, this man is giving such a layered, emotional performance, I don't know how he doesn't end every work day on set drinking himself to sleep. The actor, btw, also played the evil torturing policeman in Slumdog Millionaire, for those interested in his range. :)
So this man from another culture, another world and time, really, is plunked into Modern Manhattan (a redundancy, yes? *g*) and forced to live with his Very Independent And Modern daughter-in-law and his son, who was raised traditional Brahman but has turned his back on his upbringing to become an American. His wife died a slow and painful death, and the son promised his mother that he would bring his father back home with him. We first see Sunil as being completely catatonic, as you would be, right?
But if you watch that first encounter again, you see that he's not just staring off into space, his hands are twitching, seeking out things that comfort him: his tobacco, his leather book with all of his reminders of his now-deceased wife. It's very subtle, it's not an "actor's trick" like it could have been. (Read: stage performance, make sure the people in the back row see you.) This man has the wateriest eyes I've ever seen, and just... empty. Not void, just emptied. Nothing to live for, nothing left to care about, everything is all gone.
His son and daughter speak for him, this former head of household, this formerly well-respected professor. They treat him like a child, lock him away in the attic of their house. And in a way, he's like a child, mute, unable to communicate his needs except through tears and random tantrums where his limbs lash out like the uncontrolled movements of a baby.
And then comes Paul, Dr. Weston, and I have to say Gabriel Byrne is giving a seminal performance here. That he's not won an Emmy for this role is just shocking. Anyway, this broken man that has chosen to isolate himself and focus on other people's problems instead of his own does two simple things: one, he allows Sunil to smoke, seeing that it is such an important ritual/calming act for him and two, he speaks to him as an equal.
Sunil's 7 episodes have him moving from his infant stage to angry teen stage (lashing out in anger, rage being his only way he has to express himself) to his reflective period when he thinks about how he had no choices in life, relives painful moments from his early 20s/college years, and secretly devises a way to get thrown back into the world he knew through deportation. This man who has no one, who has lost everything (he has no family even though he has a family. They don't want him and it was so painful to watch him accept that) had one thing: a friend.
I loved how Paul was so angry by being used, until Sunil reminds him that you can be a therapist and a friend. Normally you can't, but Paul isn't the guy that follows the rules in psychotherapy, he so clearly WANTS to be a father figure/friend to all of his patients.
Sunil singing the "Goodbye" song in Brahman as he's being led away, awaiting deportation back to India... I won't lie, I was sobbing. Denied his culture, his ways here, knowing he will be homeless and a beggar back in his homeland, he finally claims who he is - a man who has missed out on so much of life and finally gets that he has a choice in how he finishes his life. In doing so, claims Paul as his only friend. It also shows - in an untraditional way - that Paul really is a good therapist. He unlocked this man and set him free. [And the revelation about Sunil's college sweetheart, forced out of Sunil's life because of her caste and because she found herself pregnant, waaaaaaaah!]
GOD THAT SHOW. It's amazing, it really is. That would be a DREAM job, to have a role to explore for 7 weeks? Nothing but breaking down a character and getting to the meat of things? Astounding. I will say, though, that Debra Winger is just crap, so I don't usually watch "Frances" because I think Winger has dead eyes and brings nothing to the table as an actress. I'm CONSTANTLY aware of Debra Winger playing a part (or trying to) and that's the very opposite effect you want. You want people to think Frances is real, to forget there's an actress there. Bah. I want to see the amazing (and under-valued) Amy Ryan in a part on this show. That woman has talent in spades. I love character actors, always have.
Anyway. Good, good stuff, and if you're an actor (or aspiring to be) and you're not watching this program, you are missing out on 4 acting classes a week. Meisner-level classes.
Speaking of acting, one of my shorts I filmed this year missed the Sundance cut. :( There are three more festivals we're waiting to hear back from, so hopefully it'll start picking up steam. A few friends made it into the festival this year, so I'm happy for them. The short I filmed a few weeks ago is almost out of editing and they're starting the submission process pretty soon. I've seen some of the stills, and it looks like it could be pretty outstanding. SHORTS ARE GREAT. Support your local arthouse film studio and go to the shorts festivals - they're a lot of fun.
OK, gotta either start my holiday baking or painting my dining room. Or skipping both and dive back into Fallout (I'm playing hardcore, and Boone is my boyfriend. LOL.) <-- NERD ALERT.
[ETA] Uh.... I just got a fax from someone holding a charity event (hosted by Eva Longoria) wanting me to autograph something for the silent auction. UM. I thought the idea was to raise money, not eyebrows? (LOL. As in, "who the heck is Laura Stone, and why do I care?") ¿Qué demonios?