Perspectives on Pop Culture and the Arts

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Lindsay Lohan + Tennessee Williams = Redundant?

Affectionately named 'Li-Lo' by the tabloid press, Lindsay Lohan would be wise to heed such advice as every time she moves she takes it in the neck from the media. Sure, we tire of hearing of yet another silly thing that she has done, but the last thing we really need is the exploitative tabloid harlots encouraging further (self?) destruction.

Cintra Wilson at The Oxford American discusses the sympathetic struggle of Lindsay Lohan and why her new role in an upcoming Tennessee Williams adaptation is so fitting and familiar:

While Lohan never seemed to have the dazzling prepubescent wonder, poise, and innocence that made Liz Taylor so sympathetically girlish and childlike (New York Times film critic Janet Maslin found Lohan’s double-performance in the remake of The Parent Trap so audacious, “that she seems to have been taking shy violet lessons from Sharon Stone”), there is something endearingly lame about both actresses—a pleasantly obvious lack of the kind of cool, preternatural grace possessed by Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly. They get a little shrill, raspy, and nasal when they’re nervous or overexcited. There is, at times, a perilous, half-crazy, overbrightness in both sets of big blue eyes. Something roundly superfeminine about their cushy, youthful bodies best reflects the more ravenous, low, cannibalistic desires of their decades. Unlike the indestructible Ava Gardner, both Lohan and Taylor have suffered from chronic broken hearts and serial attractions to men who guarantee them. Liz and Lohan are wounded little tigers—always collapsing and being released from hospitals, sprained, skinned, whimpering. But tigers are perceived as tigers, and get no pity from cows.

Tennessee would have felt their pain. “I have a funny heart,” he wrote of himself. “Sometimes it seems to thrive on punishment.” He was admitted to the Barnes Medical Center in St. Louis by his brother for what was deemed “violent, destructive and possibly suicidal” behavior brought on by willful and sustained drug abuse. Artists blessed and cursed with the job of channeling the emotions of their generation are invariably crushed under the bright pain of unrelenting scrutiny. Stars are supposed to portray human life, and its joys and tortures, perfectly—but we don’t allow them to feel excessive misery in their personal lives, without a note from the doctor or a dead parent. Depression is forbidden, as is self-loathing…how dare she be so unhappy when she has everything?

Update: Apparently, Lindsay Lohan has been replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard for The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond... which might be less ironic and generally better for the poor girl.

[Link] to the full article.

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