Wednesday, March 18, 2009
RIP Natasha Richardson
Okay, so she was richer, more famous, and more beautiful than the people whose obits I usually make mention of, and I haven't seen any film she's appeared in since 1994's Nell; but I quite liked Natasha Richardson and am shocked by her early passing. There was a period when I was really interested in the cinema of Paul Schrader, and she gave excellent and highly memorable performances in what I think of now as two of his best films, Patty Hearst and The Comfort of Strangers; the latter, in particular (shockingly out of print on DVD in North America) is a creepy and interesting adaptation of a novel by Ian McEwan, scripted by Harold Pinter, set in Venice, and also starring Christopher Walken, Helen Mirren, and Rupert Everett. There is a scene in that film where Richardson is luxuriating on a bed, naked, that captured something that one rarely sees in film: the pleasure of a human being at having a body, the almost decadent good feeling one has to wake up. Perhaps if it weren't for that scene, I would not be writing this - but somehow I'm all the more aware of her passing for it. Condolences to her family, famous or otherwise.