August 13, 2008

Penelope Cruz and the Old White Jewish Guys

Penelope Cruz is a dynamic, exciting young actress. She's got fire in her, probably because she is not a cookie cutter American actress. But I must note with disdain that her two most recent films are written or based on material by narcissistic old white Jewish guys.

The first, Elegy, intrigued me because it is directed by the Spanish director Isabelle Coixet. It stars Ben Kingsley as a professor who loses it when he meets a young woman played by Cruz. But, as I read more about the film, I discovered that it was based on The Dying Animal a novel by Phillip Roth, and if I saw the film I would have to break one of my basic tenents -- I don't do Phillip Roth. I tried years ago but just couldn't do it. My ban on Roth was further confirmed when I read actress Claire Bloom's account of her marriage to him and it made me sick.

Penelope also stars in the new Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona which is about two women obsessed with the same man (not Allen, thank goodness) and then to make it more titilating to the guys Woody throws a third woman into the mix. Sounds like a guy's fantasy -- not that I would expect any less from Woody Allen. Since Allen is basically a has been he threw in a girl on girl kiss between Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz which is enough to get the film some buzz.

Woody is another one on my banned list since way back when he screwed Mia (and her daughter). I'm too young to revere Allen for his 1970s movies. I like Annie Hall (and I still can't believe WTF Diane Keaton saw in him) and Hannah and Her Sisters, but the fact that Woody Allen gets the money to make his narcissistic films each year makes my blood boil. Aren't they are all about the same thing?

Give me a break.