Wednesday, September 07, 2005
I am currently taking some much deserved time off from the day job grind. But, since it's Wednesday, I thought I'd throw a bone to everyone working with this new (weekly) daydream service: Hump Day Hotty/Hotties. Today's libidinally inspiring duo are the leads of the new Fernando Meirelles thriller The Constant Gardener.
Ralph Fiennes is one of the classiest and sexiest of British import stars. He first caught major notice in the Oscar winner Schindler's List (1993) with one of the top 10 all-time-best-nominated-performances-that were-inexplicably-passed-over-when-statues-were-handed-out (whew). I fell in love with his talent then. His beauty was harder to get a handle on due to the Nazi ick-factor. But the longer you look at him, the prettier he gets. He isn't often held up as a sex-symbol like, say, Jude Law. But he deserves to be. His sexual power onscreen is a little hard to deny if you stop to think about the extra juice he gives nearly every film in which he stars.
Three years after Schindler's his scorching desert coupling with Kristin Scott Thomas in The English Patient (1996) made audiences swoon and gave him his star-making role. And, though audiences weren't interested, his onscreen lust factor went supernova again in The End of the Affair (1999). Pared up and stripped down with a true peer in the school of pale beauty and genius acting (Julianne Moore), Fiennes was something to behold. 2005's current and steamy duet is no match for that one but it's still pretty hormonal. For one thing, since Fiennes never shuns character specificity in favor of star personae, Justin Quayle remains too subdued and careful for Casanova status. It's one of his quietest characterizations. He cedes all the sexual power to the female this time.
Speaking of... Rachel Weisz has made over 20 features in the past decade. Despite the requisite movie beauty, she hasn't exactly had plum roles. She is probably most well-known for her double love-interest duties with Keanu Reeves (Constantine, Chain Reaction), Brendan Fraser (both Mummy films), and now, Ralph Fiennes (Sunshine, The Constant Gardener). The little seen The Shape of Things(2003) a role she also originated onstage, got her some attention as well. Despite the prolific work, she has up until now remained a B-Lister. That could change if the public or the Academy falls for her bohemian fire and natural sexiness as Tessa Quayle inThe Constant Gardener. It's the best Kate Winslet performance ever that's not --er, performed by Kate Winslet. (get me?)
Whatever one may think of The Constant Gardener as a film, the chemistry between Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz is evident for all to see. Their beautiful interpretations of Mr & Mrs. Quayle's semi-ambiguous partnership is the best reason to see the film. To continue lusting after Ralph turn to Ralph Fiennes Corner. For more of Rachel's goodies visit Rachel Weisz Paradise.