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October 10, 2003


Uma. Why?

Fame Tracker delivers another controversial yet right on the money Fame Audit of Uma Thurman, which explores the question that has been lurking in my mind since I saw Jennifer 8 and that damn Cats and Dogs movie she was in, where she was supposed to be the beautiful one, but in actuality she looked all washed out and Janeane Garofalo was ten times cuter than she was: Why Is Uma Famous? Personally, I have no idea. I have never thought she was that beautiful in a classic way, though she is tall and striking, and looks sort of like an alien. Her movies have been forgettable, and she has been forgettable in them (The Avengers, possibly the worst movie I have ever seen in the theater, Batman & Robin, Beautiful Girls, The Golden Bowl [did ANYONE see this movie?], Where the Heart Is, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, even the OK Gattaca is good because of that hot and sassy Jude Law and the theme of genetic engineering, and not because of her.)

So... is it just Quentin Tarantino? Are he and Pulp Fiction the reasons she is famous? I thought the only interesting thing about her role in that (absurdly overrated) movie was the cool white fitted shirt she wore, but maybe that's just me. We'll see if her performance in Kill Bill justifies her fame. Of course, she was married to a not-really-hot, over-earnest, sort of talented goofball actor who is also famous, but at least he writes novels too. Sorry Uma, but I'd rather have a drink with your dad than with you. Unfortunately, being a Buddhist, he probably doesn't drink. -amy

Couple things: I think Uma is famous because she has luminosity. She's an okay actress, but it's her presence that makes her so attractive and occasionally compelling. She seems able to control her ethereal aspects in an unusual way. I think you can see this in Baron Munchausen. Oddly, her acting almost undoes her presence sometimes, but other times (as in Pulp Fiction, I think) it adds to it. How can you not be magnetized during the diner scene, during the "Preacher Man" scene, etc? Maybe Tarantino has just figured out how to let her properly convey herself in a way that other directors haven't. But if you want to understand Uma as an actress, in such a way that you can figure out if she's a good actress or not, I think you have to take a look at Chelsea Walls. There, she's not fooling around with drifty ethereality: she's just acting, a kind of prisoner in the hotel and in the movie, like a butterfly stuck under a dome, waiting to be examined. Even so, she's elusive: I left the movie knowing I had seen something, but I wasn't entirely sure what. I had forgotten this til just now, but I actually discussed this exact issue a year-and-a-half ago when Chelsea Walls came out.

Secondly, unlike Amy, I don't think Pulp Fiction is over-rated. I may be the only person on Earth (besides maybe QT himself) who thinks this, but I think it's underrated. I think the late-90s backlash against the film was unwarranted and originated only because people were completely sick of every pale imitation that came after it. (And essentially every movie which came out after it was a pale imitation, in one form or another.) It was like the sins of the son were visited on the father. If you consider that before Pulp Fiction movies like Pulp Fiction did not exist, I think you can look back on it and be pretty amazed.

Thirdly: Buddhists don't drink? What? Don't they know that life is suffering? -adm

categories: Celebrities
posted by amy at 10:57 AM | #


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