The Girl With The ‘Born This Way’ Tattoo
On Best Actress and Elena Ferrante.
A few years ago, Olivia Colman won an Oscar in green Prada.
She faced staggering competition in the form of two great spirits: the ferocious Glenn Close, poised to finally nab her much-deserved award after a career filled with deserving performances; and Lady Gaga, for the most powerful breakout ever committed to film, croaking into the spine of society and reigniting a dormant fire in the veins of the planet.
This year, history is poised to repeat itself.
The Lost Daughter comes to Netflix December 17th. As a woman of having-a-boyfriend-in-the-Director’s-Guild experience, I was able to catch the flick early on a screener. Allow me to be the first to say: Cowabunga! Colman dazzles, in an admittedly subtler fashion than her once-in-a-millennium performance in The Favourite, as a professor on holiday in Greece who teeters toward her breaking point when her solitude is disturbed by a raucous family of fellow vacationers commandeering her quiet beach. Dakota Johnson plays a hot, mysterious, trashy young mom, Dagmara Dominczyk (of Succession and The Count of Monte Cristo fame) is almost unrecognizable as Johnson’s pregnant sister from Queens (Awkwafina is Nora is shaking), Paul Mescal continues to provide evidence he may be the most fuckable young lad this side of the Mississippi, and Jessie Buckley—go watch her in Wild Rose and then her live performance of “Glasgow” at the BAFTAs immediately—rounds out the cast as a younger version of Colman. Best picture hive could be eating here… it’s really soooo good!!
Town & Country reported that at the cast party after the film had wrapped, Colman was convinced to receive her first tattoo via stick and poke from Dakota Johnson. Colman ended her 2019 Best Actress speech (one for the ages, mind you) with two words: “...Lady Gaga!”
Is it so much of a stretch, then, to assume Colman is a Little Monster? And if so, that this famous stick-and-poke might in fact spell out the words ‘Born This Way,’ like so many gay guys with OnlyFans before her? Or perhaps it’s a clawed paw in the air, similar to Gaga’s own ink. I wonder if Colman has seen this video:
The Lost Daughter is adapted from Elena Ferrante’s novella of the same name, which I devoured last year when my former employer and friend of extremely-good-taste experience Anna effusively recommended it to me. I was curious how Maggie Gyllenhaal, who looks like my aunt and wrote and directed the adaptation, would bring Ferrante’s mostly interior writing to the silver screen. Ferrante’s work is often narrated from deep in the cranial recesses of women fed up with their circumstances, teetering into Miranda-eating-cake-out-of-the-garbage territory. Gyllenhaal was able to create a movie (her feature directorial debut) both faithful to Ferrante’s brilliant story and expanding on it to make a wholly original, horny film that left this viewer, at least, feeling almost as if I’d just watched myself onscreen for two hours (besides the fact that I don’t have children, am not a professor, and have never been to Greece).
I don’t want to give anything else away, but go see this movie. Gyllenhaal has already collected numerous awards: Best Screenplay at Venice Film Festival; Director, Picture, and Screenplay at the Gothams; Best First Film at New York Film Critics Circle, among others. Colman is sure to be nominated at the Academy Awards, which brings us back to the repetitive nature of history: will she swoop in and snag the trophy yet again from what at first glance appears to be a two-horse-race between mother Lady Gaga and a long-lauded, never-awarded Hollywood juggernaut, this time in the form of Kristen Stewart in Spencer?
My inclination is to say no, that this time it really feels like Stewart’s year (blasphemy, I know, to not be predicting the most important person ever to grace this planet, Mrs. Gaga, whom I feel deserves the nom and will win her gold years from now, after a slew of nominations, for playing some sort of deranged, ultra-glam, past-her-prime wicked witch rock star with a pet raven perched on her shoulder a-la Maleficent… new screenplay idea just dropped?) House of Gucci is brassy fun when Gaga’s onscreen—her transformation into Patrizia Reggiani is the stuff of legend, stills of her performance deserve to be signed and framed upon the walls of Buca di Beppo—but the movie is a wash whenever she disappears (although Jared L., whom we all loathe, is actually really funny in it).
Stewart is exceptional as Princess Diana, completely transforming into our depressed fashion queenie, and it just feels right that a full-blown lesbian should win this time around. That community has been through so much. Of course, there’s also the potential for an underdog victory from the most beautiful woman on earth, Penélope Cruz, who is absolutely incredible (as usual) in Parallel Mothers, the new melodrama from my favorite director and gay guy, Pedro Almodóvar.
But the Colman-Gyllenhaal-Ferrante link-up is the stuff of legend, and pretty irresistible. So who knows. I’ve heard it said on certain podcasts that this year’s Actor race is more compelling than Actress, to which I’d have to wholeheartedly disagree. For one, I’ve never cared about male actors receiving awards, besides twinks—I don’t know any single person with a brain who does. For another, I haven’t watched any of those movies (that feature lead performances from men) yet—it’s just not high on my priority list. Although I did see The Power of the Dog, and I do think there’s a deserving twink doing great work in there! The truth is I’m deep in FerranteLand at the moment—after finishing My Brilliant Friend earlier this autumn, I’m now devouring The Days of Abandonment, which is giving The Lost Daughter a run for its money as my all-time favorite book of hers.
Abandonment follows a woman who descends into dangerous levels of depression after her husband leaves her (not a spoiler, you find that out in the first sentence, bitch). I’ve become so enamored with Ferrante’s fiction that I felt compelled to try and mimic her unnerving tone by applying it to my own life. The other day I penned a brief ode to Ferrante’s damaged heroines through the lens of a Brooklyn trans, but reading back through my Ferrantean account of life over the past year, I’m making the decision to do the opposite of what Meryl Streep did in The Post: not publish. I wish to come across as composed and C. Bradshaw-esque (when she got her book deal, not when she confessed to cheating on Aiden at Charlotte’s wedding, or caused a Ralph Lauren model to break her front tooth) as I interact with potential employers on the interwebs. Suffice to say, I’m risking eardrum damage blasting Blue Banisters in my headphones and knowingly allowing droplets of my morning smoothie to congeal on the kitchen countertop. One day when I’m feeling more unhinged, I hope to share more from that chilling writing exercise.
Will Miranda Mount a Mechanical Bull Again, Please?
I could weep tears of joy to be able to say the following: a Sex and the City reboot is coming to us, at last, in a mere two days!!
Yes, yes, I know, Samantha, who really is a true genius and so crucial to making the series what it is, will not be returning. But I don’t care, it’s still Sex and the City, it’s still Carrie, Char, and Mir (lol), and I’m fucking excited. Besides, friendship breakups are real, and Samantha probably would eventually move to Barcelona or something and spend the rest of her days having orgies in the sand with 25-year-old tapas chefs.
I signed an NDA, so I will not confirm what program this was for, but I was a background actor on a dream television series of mine a few weeks back. I just had to say that. Please note that a long-standing dream of mine has reached a narrative milestone.
O Holy Night, The Twinks Are Brightly Whining
I had a joint birthday party a few weeks back with some dear friends. Beforehand, I was anxious to look as hot as possible—I got a haircut and engaged in nausea the following day after deciding it was way too short. For the first time in my life, I used a tanning booth (at Crunch Fitness; life hack: you don’t have to pay the extra membership cost to use the Crunch tanning booths because they don’t check your membership status. Other life hack: don’t use tanning booths because they are terrible for you) and woke up the next morning covered in burns.
Thus, as I prepared for the party, my skin was red and my hair reminiscent of Count Olaf. By the time I’d showered and dressed, however, I’d metamorphosed into the serve of the century, dressed in a skimpy faux-silk frock from tween girls’ favorite company, Dolls Kill. I did not get any particularly great photos, the mark of time well spent! Although if anyone else did, I’m still open to reception..
Earnest alert: I ended up having one of the great nights of my life. We celebrated at a venue called Russian Samovar, the evening lovingly dubbed “One Night In Moscow,” and in the cab ride home the following dawn I felt elated, surrounded by incredible people whom I love, who love me. So, so grateful for my wonderful friends. Happy. I don’t say that every day, mothafucka!
HBO Max and Other Drugs
Speaking of earnestness… this Jeremy Strong New Yorker profile has rocked me to my core, queenies. Madame Strong is absolutely serving in this season of Succession, as are all of his castmates (these last two episodes—holy FUCCCCCQUE!) But damn… it be the ones. He seems… really intense, and that sentiment is clearly shared by the rest of the Succession team.
Rewatched season 4 of The Crown… if you never watched the show, just skip to this season. So so good. Emma Corrin deserved the Emmy.
Also need to shout out Pen15 for being the single greatest piece of art to have been made in recent memory. The final episodes of the series (currently throwing a temper tantrum inspired by Maya Erskine’s god-tier work in that field) are now available on Hulu. I’m savoring the final few, not wanting it to be over and me to be in desperate search of a new reason to cling to this reality. How they pulled off something so simultaneously funny and gut-wrenching is unbeknownst to me.
What else… I woke up in the middle of the night and accidentally randomly banged my head against the wall. I made dinner plans with a dear old friend tonight before remembering I had to babysit. I’m manifesting that I will be getting my dream job, and writing a book, and making 28 the year I catapult into a sexier, wealthier, more successful and fulfilling plane of existence. Time to go babysit now—let’s hope the bastard survives!