Wednesday, November 03, 2010

White Trash Cameo Hameos Forever!

Since America proved tonight at the polls (yay democracy!) that we are all just one tiny step away from being uneducated white trash who vote against our own interests and functioning society -- seriously if there's no government, who will pick up the garbage, who will protect us if someone breaks into our homes, who will make sure our children aren't as idiotic as we are? --  I thought this might be an appropriate way to "celebrate"!

White Trash Cameos!

God bless Catherine at the Guardian for the word "hameo". Maybe she didn't invent the word (?) but I was unfamiliar and I will now use for-e-ver.

The article is inspired by the hot mess bliss of Juliette Lewis in Conviction and features a spot on appraisal of what Ms Lewis does for and to the film (I'm sorry my article on Lewis is so delayed). Catherine surveys memorable "hameos" and then asks readers for theirs. You must read the comments section. It's joy upon joy upon joy... a veritable stack of blueberry pancakes smothered in syrup (the hefty portions of bacon on the side are a given).

Weirdly Catherine cites Keanu Reeves in The Gift (which, if you've never seen it is like THE perfect embodiment of "erratically acted movie") as an, uh, problem. My favorite so-terrible-maybe-it's-good? performance in that 'Cate Blanchett is Totally Psychic!' movie actually belongs to none other than Hilary Swank (the defacto star of the movie that Lewis is currently stealing away).

In The Gift Swank plays, you guessed it, Poor White Trash. But she's doing it with this absurdly tinny/squeaky little girl voice. To this day, I can hear her bizarre line reading of "I was thinking baaaad thoughts." It's literally the only thing I remember from the movie. That and Katie Holmes's  Demi-Moore-like breast baring, which is to say: she got those babies out emphatically, as if her career depended on it.

What is it about playing white trash that makes actors go so bonkers? They always become cartoons.

"People heare bout what yer doin' and they laugh at yyyeeeewwww"

I'm going to DisneyLand!
*

27 comments:

Ian C. said...

Brilliant, hilarious tie-in to a truly grim turnout...was planning on skipping Conviction but now I'm convinced that Juliette Lewis will give me one of my indelible movie-going moments of 2010...yay!!!!

Bryan said...

Amy Ryan was fantastic in Gone Baby Gone. But that doesn't really count as playing white trash... or does it?

In general, though, you're right; actors tend to have trouble making white trash characters come across as real people.

Ian C. said...

Would Tilda Swinton in Broken Flowers count? Haven't seen the movie in a while, and I know people loved her in it, but I remember at the time it was jarring, pretty-much-white-trash mode, right?

Ian C. said...

Anne Heche in Birth??

Ian C. said...

OMG Jean Smart in Garden State!!!! Brilliant AND delightfully hammy...

Ian C. said...

Frances Conroy in Catwoman??? Pretty much everything about the movie was negligible but she was sort of amusing, right?

Ian C. said...

Jennifer Jason Leigh in Synecdoche, New York?

Ian C. said...

Rosanna Arquette in Pulp Fiction...?

Bill Nighy in Underworld

Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element?

and from the sounds of it...Winona Ryder in Black Swan?

Ian C. said...

OMG Liza Minnelli in Sex and the City 2...

Anonymous said...

julia r in erin b.

GlenH said...

@Ian C.
I don't think so. It is quite an emotional performance but given the circumstances and the questions that Bill Murray's character asks it feels appropriate. She also starts out fairly restrained and builds from there.

Tim B. said...

Hameos! Brilliant!

"I'm sorry my article on Lewis is so delayed"

Your current display picture under 'About The Film Experience' has you off the hook this time. :P

cal roth said...

The Coens' supporting actors are the kings of white trash and they're always perfect. Always. Not a single false note.

Pat said...

Lol! Just saw Conviction last night and thought Juliette Lewis was the best part! (Sorry to hear about the election...it sounds like you guys got it even worse than Toronto did.)

NATHANIEL R said...

Yeah, we sure did.
so depressing.

we have basically two giant problems with many thorny issues growing from them:

1. Democrats are weak-willed and nervous even when in power and even though they have the power of reasoning and even when they know that the public is on their side (which is actually much of the time if you boil it down to the issues. but the issues are only a tiny part of politics). It's a really big character issue that Democrats just can't seem to muster themselves out of.

It's really hard for the public, even the ones who do believe in working together, rational thinking, or civil rights to get behind people who are constantly "i'm weak i'm weak i'm weak what would you like me to do? is that okay with you? i really don't want to offend anyone!"

It's why the "redistribution of wealth" argument is such a problem. The democrats can't seem to message. The wealth is already being redistributed. It's all going to the top. They're not trying to createa United Order, they're just trying to make life bearable for 90% of the population...50% of which are voting against their own lives being bearable.

2. Republicans are anti-people but they have the courage of their convictions and unencumbered by reality, and with smart long term plans like "radicalize old people into thinking everyone is raising their taxes adn to think socialized medicine is bad even though thye say they like their medicare" they have grown strong. It's like when people are radicalized religion-wise: they can do any evil and not feel guilt about it. It's all faith-based with no consequences or grounding.

with these two problems working together we basically have an apocalypse coming on.

YAY!

Volvagia said...

5 Best "Ham" Performances (not just "eo"):

Gary Oldman, Leon (But delightfully so)
Richard Steven Horvitz, Invader Zim
Al Pacino, Scarface
Eli Wallach, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
And a great Hameo: Scott Adsit, The Italian Job. (Only a single line sliced multiple ways, but delivered with relish every time.)

Anonymous said...

Yes Nathaniel, Swank's actually kind of err, great in THE GIFT. Mainly because it's refreshing to not see her play her staple single-minded take no prisoners heroine. Blanchetts great as well.

- Sean C.

Volvagia said...

The issue: People start thinking about the "non-spineless democrat" and the issue is "Zack de la Rocha for president?"

James T said...

That "sad" pic is priceless!

It's like: Why don't you love me??

We adore you Nathaniel!

I'd like to remind you of the "say what" contest. Because I always do ;)

James T said...

Forgot to say "offtopic" but I'm white trash so I don't care about these things :p

/3rtfu11 said...

The actress who plays Hilary’s mother in MDB is someone I want desperately to star in the life story of Anna Nicole Smith’s mother. During her death (Anna’s) her mother was the most unintentionally funny human being I can remember. She’s my favorite non-celebrity celebrity.
The actress’ huffy and puff line delivery of “Theeaaaay laugfh at youuuuuuu” --- my aunt hated her performance or maybe she just hated the character but it remains etched in stone as the most high of white trash style acting ever.

Glad I saw her work in Alexander Payne’s concluding contribution in the web of mini films about Paris. She’s of course under used due to her size and not being the Meryl Streep of fat actresses (Kathy Bates, My Queen) --- I should learn her name and see if I can catch her on a LA stage production of something.

Gustavo said...

No love for Margo, huh? :-(

/3rtfu11 said...

No love for Margo, huh? :-(

Who is Margo?

NATHANIEL R said...

talking about margo martindale

Pope said...

I saw Conviction last night as well and Juliette Lewis definitely was one of the better parts of the film. In regards to that line from Million Dollar Baby, I still say/make fun of that line TO THIS VERY DAY: "...lye-f at yeewwwww."

George P. said...

Ooh, I sure do wanna see Juliette Lewis steal the show!

Perhaps I WILL see "Conviction" now.

Janice said...

//She’s of course under used due to her size and not being the Meryl Streep of fat actresses (Kathy Bates, My Queen)//

I think I love Margo so much that I've completely forgotten that moment (but then I've had little cause to think about MDB since I saw it. I don't hate it, enjoyed watching it, but I'm indifferent otherwise.) I prefer to remember all her understated moments in - well, almost every thing else she's done, she's gotten 1-5 minutes to lend sadness, sympathy, depth, humor, etc to a film, often in much need of what she has to give.