Friday, April 17, 2009

April Showers, Brad Pitt as "JD"

april showers, daily @ 11

Tonight's shower is provided by mother nature rather than traditional indoor plumbing. That's appropriate since Thelma & Louise (1991) is elemental: all wide open spaces, blazing sun, dusty earth and women as hard driving forces of nature.

While the film belongs to Susan Sarandon's Louise, Geena Davis's Thelma is the maddening/adorable one. Among her many exasperating yet endearing qualities is her uninhibited horniness for one J.D. (early Brad Pitt). In the scene pictured to your left, Louise has booted the caddish hitchhiker out of their car since the friends are getting hotel rooms for the night. J.D. struts away into the rain shower, fully confident that Thelma's eyes are still on him. He even kicks up a boot heel, a private little show for her, as the car drives away.
There he goes. I love watching him go.
Wrangler butts drive her nuts... or something.

If you've seen more than two or three movies you'll know that this lustfully observed exit will not be J.D.'s exit from the movie. But Thelma apparently hasn't seen so many movies. She's surprised (and thrilled) when he comes a'knocking on her hotel room door later that same night.

J.D. is such a skilled charmer that the outcome of his neighborly call is never in doubt. The aw shucks grin is ease itself. He even knows just how to pose in the pouring rain so that the water runs, just so, off his cowboy hat. His 'I'll get out of your hair now' wet puppy act is all pretense. He's no puppy but a dog. He knows he's getting out of the rain. He knows he's getting into her bed.


Andrew K. said...

This just may be my favourite of the April Shower series. You certainly are on point about the characterisation of JD. Brad Pitt (one of the actors that I like a lot) will always remain as one of the most undervalued actors in Hollywood - I believe - it's almost like with Nicole Kidman. They have both have to constantly prove themselves as actors - good actors - because of their physical beauty. It goes to show that there is a thing as TOO beautiful... Dont you think?

adam k. said...

Well, considering their beauty nets them upwards of $10 million a film, I don't feel too bad for them.

mrripley said...

i always want to put brad on my 91 supporting actor list he is such a scene stealer but fear nat would laugh me out of the room,but for me this is what would be considered scene stealing supp actor work,if 91 was now we'd be hailing this as the supporting perf of the yr,so 92 goes like this at the mo

michael lerner - barton fink
harvey keitel - thelma and louise
steven hill - billy bathgate
john goodman - barton fink
samuel l jackson - jungle fever

Andrew K. said...

Mr. Ripley - I can see where you're coming from and I think you have a point. I mean look at Robert Downey Jr. last year - that performance would not have been Oscar material ten years least I don't think. But I don't know if THIS performance would garner buzz today. I feel it's always been easier for women to get nods for small (and sometimes inconsequential) bit roles in films like Judi Dench in Shakespeare in Love or Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton or Ruby Dee in American Gangster. But the Supporting Actor race is always filled with category frauds like - Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt), Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight), or Jake Gylenhaal (Brokeback Mountain). So it's hard for a guy with a small scene to compete with that.

John T said...

He's Brad Pitt in 1991-he would have gotten into all of our beds, with or without the cowboy hat.

alice said...

Am I the only one who thinks he's got skinny legs here ? He was really thin in 1991


mrripley. I would not laugh you out of the room. It's one of my favorite Brad Pitt performances. I think he TOTALLY understands the character and the tone of the movie. You don't have to have a heavy drama character to deliver a fine screen performance.

mrripley said...

so would you nominate him then!!

Wayne B. said...

There he goes. I love watching him go.

She takes the words right out of my mouth. Lately, I'm wondering if I've judged Brad Pitt too harshly on his acting chops. Actually rewatched "Seven", "Legends Of the Fall" and "Burn After Reading" recently. Though none of the performances reach the gold standard he set with "Fight Club", his work in them is more thoughtful than I remembered and I wss actually struck by the many different tones he's able to play.


I think Se7en and Fight Club are his two best performances (which is why i was surprised that the third piece with Fincher didn't do it for me at all, performance wise) but i do think he's consistently undervalued due to the beauty.

mrripley... i don't know if i'd go so far as to nominate him but he'd be in the consideration pool

I was all about Lerner (Fink) and Keitel (T&L ... not the one he got nominated for) that year

mrripley said...

me too nat me too keitel takes the gold with lerner taking silver i do agree with you sometimes.

Karen said...

That cowboy hat!