Now, this is the way I like my film criticism. Melissa Lafsky on Straw Dogses old and new:

[W]hat holds up about his film is its visceral depiction of just how awful it is to be a “nice guy” who gets ripped in half by the opposing forces of civility and survival.

The simple reason the original is so good is Dustin Hoffman. No one is better at embodying an ostensibly effete intellectual harboring a fucking rage machine deep inside. Hoffman is emotive, he’s emotionally vulnerable and, well, there’s no polite way to say this – he’s small. Tiny, even. Which, in the chest-thumping department, is an automatic 40 handicap. There’s something baseline archetypal in the plight of a small man. His struggle is the struggle, the inescapable fight to triumph over one’s immutable circumstances. He can do whatever is in his power – obtain expensive degrees, make bank, build up intellectual capital – to raise his social valuation. But he’s never going to be the guy you veer away from on the sidewalk. […]

The part [Alexander] Skarsgård plays here is Paragon Alpha, the man who can win on all fronts and serves as a boot in the ass to the socially softened hero. He evokes fear and respect in men while simultaneously compelling women to bang him (in Skarsgård’s case, perhaps literally; as the credits rolled, two lesbian friends declared themselves “willing to make an exception”).

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2011.10.10 12:39. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

(Values you enter are stored and may be published)



None. I quit.

Copyright © 2004–2024