Sad and Mesmerizing

I’ve spoken of this sequence before but I couldn’t find the right clip until this morning,. This is Charlotte Rampling‘s most searing moment. Half of the power of this sequence is in the cutting, of course, but it’s nonetheless one of the most emotionally naked exposures any actress has offered in any mainstream film.

My second reaction risks sounding insensitive or brutish, but it’s true: this is the kind of woman who tends to be mostly problematic if not impossible in a working-it-through, day-to-day relationship sense, but is breathtaking in bed. I’m sorry but this is what my life experience has taught me. Moderate, emotionally healthy, well-rounded women are surely better, more dependable partners, but they tend to be less mad and less perverse in an erotic sense.

  • lazarus

    My favorite Woody Allen film. Has a healthy dose of his “peak” period humor, but also contains a self-critique of his artistic and romantic pursuits. And the framing and photography? I don’t think the visuals here are topped in any of his other works.

    Most importantly, a scene like the one above is so atypical of his stylistic approach, that seeing it for the first time was pretty shocking. He was up for trying new things on this film, and unfortunately the critics eviscerated him.

  • JR

    “My second reaction risks sounding insensitive or brutish, but it’s true: this is the kind of woman who tends to be mostly problematic if not impossible in a working-it-through, day-to-day relationship sense, but is breathtaking in bed. I’m sorry but this is what my life experience has taught me. Moderate, emotionally healthy, well-rounded women are surely better, more dependable partners, but they tend to be less mad and less perverse in an erotic sense.”

    All of my pals who swear to this are single, usually divorced several times over, and as they entered their 50s, they became increasingly alone with far less of this action than they boasted they once had…good or bad, I don’t know, just an observation.

  • Travis Actiontree

    Hollywood Elsewhere has declared War on Women!!!

    She is such a hot dollybird in “Georgy Girl”. Love her work. Back in the day she and Helen Mirren were game for just about anything, and it often payed off.

  • cyanic

    It’s unfair negative reaction to the film ruined Rampling’s chance at a career Oscar nomination.

  • Larry Karaszewski

    Louis CK did a homage to the Rampling sequence in the closing credits of the amazing Parker Posey episode a few weeks back. CK is using Woody’s editor Susan Morse these days.

  • patches23

    I always wondered what happened between Woody and Susan Morse. They did that really avante garde editing on DECONSTRUCTING HARRY and I wonder if they had a falling out after that. Ralph Rosenblum was her mentor and to a degree he was Woody’s too. There’s a story there.

    Louie is really coming into his own artistically. Some brilliant writing on that show. And Susan helps bring that out. Hope they have a lot more success.

  • GeorgePrager

    Amazing, but her collarbone always scared me, and that first scene with her and Woody is extremely annoying (“Wine expert, etc.). And you are 100% correct about the other thing. They can’t cook, though.

  • JR

    Cigs gave her that great sexy voice in the 70s and 80s, but they have ravaged her looks in ‘older’ age…still would bang her, though.

    What say you, Joe Tanto?

  • Manitoba

    Larry K’s mention of Louis C.K. and Susan Morse reminds me that the tv comic is in Woody Allen’s new film being made this month in San Francisco with a bit later in New York. Google Woody Allen in San Francisco and you come across pictures of Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins filming scenes with Allen using a 1947 streetcar on the San Francisco Muni F line in front of Twitter’s headquarters on Market Street.I love the way Allen has been able to keep going since his first real feature as writer-director in 1969.

  • Edward

    It’s scenes like this that remind me of how great Woody Allen is as a director. It’s time for a personal Woody Allen film festival.

  • Glenn Kenny

    Yeah, usually the whole “the ‘crazy’ ones are the best in bed” fallacy fades by the time you’re in your 30s, at least in part because with some emotional maturity you come to the realization that the woman’s “craziness” is largely your own projection anyway. And that the way she winds YOU up emotionally is what makes things so “hot,” not any extra-crazy-sex-facility. It helps when they look like Charlotte Rampling too, of course. But still. It’s not so much that the observation is insensitive or brutish (Wells wants it to be perceived like that, so he can beat his chest about how he tells it like it is!!!!) or even that it’s pernicious bullshit (it is) but how it reflects so poorly on the self-awareness of the person making it.

  • taikwan

    Charlotte, these days – I’m now remembering her as she was towards the end of “Never Let Me Go” Time marches on. Can’t recall a bad performance.

  • Captain EO

    Wow – thanks for re-visiting this with the clip you intended. Definitely on my short list of Blu-Ray purchases, especially since it brings back some old memories…

  • bluefugue

    >What say you, Joe Tanto?

    I imagine the only Allen heroine he’d have much interest in is Mariel Hemingway in ‘Manhattan.’ Or maybe Natalie Portman in ‘Everyone Says I Love You’?

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