After trapezing, Boo and I took a really nice walk around UC Berkeley for a romantic picnic, later to be followed by Watchmen. I feel bad for all the Cal students who are too stressed to gaze upon the Campanile and instead dream about jumping from it. So anyway, Berkeley for romance? Good. Looking as if you had just been beaten by the boyfriend you’re walking around with? Pathetic. Watchmen? AWKWARD.
I’ve only recently gotten into watching TV – a habit I blame entirely on Bongo and being underemployed – so I don’t know all the who’s who of television. I’ve never seen West Wing, I can’t name all the spinoffs of CSI, and I am looking forward to the day where I am again too distracted to watch all the rest of that crap.
Poofy Fairy, my NY travel buddy, is the walking IMDB of everything Broadway. She basically shoots me an e-mail whenever JetBlue/Virgin/Southwest is having a hot deal, then spews off lists of shows we should catch, and then responds to my follow-up questions about the productions that pique my interest with individual actors’ bios and why we should be compelled to see Daniel Radcliffe naked. (I didn’t need a whole lot of convincing for that particular play. Ho-o!)
On our last trip to NY in November, she kept mentioning a production of All My Sons – an Arthur Miller play, not the old television show. I recognized John Lithgow and (sadly) Katie Holmes, but she kept swooning about this one Patrick Wilson and must have been disappointed every time I drew blank reactions to all the stuff he’s been in.
Now, I’ve seen three performances by Patrick Wilson: All My Sons (Broadway), Hard Candy (indie film), and Watchmen (mainstream film). They’re all really different, and when it comes to how they shape my view of The PW, together they just leave me very confused.
All My Sons
Wilson plays your standard Miller man trying to make love work, conflicted by a family history heavily influenced by war. Here Wilson is good. He is complex. He didn’t outshine anyone, but I generally enjoyed his performance.
If you hate Juno, say yea-ah! I saw Juno twice, not because I loved it but more out of circumstance that I wanted to hang out with a particular group of people. When Boo pitched watching another Ellen Page movie to me, I was very “ehh,” but then he described the complex plot and I was like “ooh!” I loved both Page and Wilson in this movie. Both of them are complex with hidden layers that really have to be chipped away. It’s far more palatable than another very enclosed drama, Tape, but similar in its tightly constricted situation. Here Wilson is great.
I can’t discuss Watchmen without first saying how they totally ruined “Hallelujah” for me. THERE WAS NO RHYME, REASON, OR EXCUSE FOR THAT UTTERLY RIDICULOUS CHOICE OF MUSIC. I thought it was a really fun movie, but so much of it just didn’t translate well into a three-hour film. At least we were sitting in a relatively comfortable theatre where my ass didn’t fall asleep. I seriously want cinemas to start rethinking the whole intermission concept. I am not opposed to getting a little break where I can refresh with some deviled eggs. (They used to serve them at concession stands.)
Back to Patrick Wilson. With All My Sons he impressed me, with Hard Candy he made me really respect him, but with Watchmen he just made me wonder what happened to his people. Is Watchmen really supposed to bolster his career? You gotta seriously question an actor who goes from a good indie film to a rather shitty blockbuster. He didn’t get tons of publicity for playing Nighthawk – I actually didn’t know what his character’s name was until Boo and I had a conversation about the film afterward. (I believe “The one who fucks the girl” was the comment that connected the dots for me.)
Here Wilson was bad. Not his performance. I just think this role was really beneath him. Though it’s true that Watchmen is very dark and subversive, the film adaptation did not reach the caliber of what I perceive Wilson to be capable of.
Based on his character in Hard Candy and that awkward sex scene in Watchmen, perhaps he’s trying to portray himself as more of a leading man sex symbol. Sadly, now, whenever I think about Patrick Wilson, I’ll be thinking of how he fucked up “Hallelujah” instead of how fascinating he was as a pedophile fashion photographer.
Editor’s Note: One thing I did like about Watchmen was the liger. Her existence was very WTF, but her pheasant feather ears were cool. “It’s pretty much my favorite animal.” -ND