I had a dream. In fact, it was the night I met you. In the dream there was our world, and the world was dark because there weren't any robins... and the robins represented love. And for the longest time there was just this darkness. And all of a sudden, thousands of robins were set free and they flew down and brought this blinding light of love! And it seemed like that love would be the only thing that would make any difference... And it did. So I guess it means there is trouble till the robins come.Martin Luther King Jr. and Laura Dern; civil rights or robins of love. Both valid dreams from inspirational dreamers. Laura Dern is one of our most bright, inspiring and expressive actresses -- an angelic beauty with an edge. Expressive not only because she's lovingly referred to as "The Face" 'round these parts, but because she has the rare ability to capture the internal conflicts in some of cinema's most ambiguous dilemmas.
She's always drawn to characters in the midst of significant grey areas: the abortion argument, the peak of adolescent sexuality and nosedive of innocence, the perils of monogamy, and cloning prehistoric species on remote islands for tourism. Her characters always seem to hold the crux between right and wrong, naivete and danger, hope and tragedy. As good with smooth talk as she is a rambling rose, Laura's greatest gift is playing to both sides of the spectrum and finding a harmonious balance.
Sweetly asking, "When will the robins come?" or theorizing that "the whole world's wild at heart and weird and top," Laura's characters ground her films with an enchanting idealism that undercuts much of the darkness surrounding them. "It's a strange world," indeed. Take it from David Lynch, her frequent collaborator who uses this dual dynamic best. In describing some of her essential roles he says, "'If you wanted to buy a bottle of innocence as a shampoo, you'd buy Sandy in Blue Velvet.' Lula, I guess, is a bottle of passion-flavored bubble gum." Laura always walks this idyllic fine line with an elegance that often dips into dangerous territory as her films progress. Whether she's snapping bubble gum in Wild at Heart, or snapping her fingers to the tune of prostitution in Inland Empire, Laura's beauty and grace can easily transform in situations of devastating circumstance.
...Whether a movie part comes to me or I seek it out, there's always this journey to darkness through light, or vice versa; that element has been in almost everything I've done.Laura often acts as the guiding light through her film's bleakest depths. Even as Ruth Stoops, a hopeless huffer and propaganda-piece in Citizen Ruth, she manages to highlight the moral divide while giving birth to the sixth or seventh child she can't support. With a character seemingly devoid of conscience or concern, Laura manages to shed light on the controversy and still give this woman a purpose as potent as paint fumes. So many of her films (We Don't Live Here Anymore, Rambling Rose, Smooth Talk) paint her as this glowing figure whose inner light dims, flickers and fades (and seizure strobes in the case of Inland Empire) as the films progress, but usually in the end Laura's light is back and burning brighter than ever.
It's a strange world, wild at heart and weird on top, but we can depend on Laura to light the way. As we hold out for the robins, let us bask in our ever blinding love for Laura Dern.