Saturday, February 9, 2013
ONCE A STAR
Once a star always a star. Of course, this isn't always true. Remember Phoebe Cates, Susan Blakely, Peter Strauss? Their lack of staying power has nothing to do with their talent. Perhaps bad choices for movies, TV, Broadway. Perhaps their star didn't shine as bright as Meryl Streep's. I love stars like Meryl Streep, by the way, because not only does she shimmer the way a screen star should BUT she is also a great artist. I mean there are stars like Stallone and Schwarzenegger who obviously lack art. They eventually wear out their welcome. Then there are stars who radiate heat vibrating with charisma and talent with a capital T even when they seemingly disappear from the limelight. Thanks to TCM for enshrining people like Bogart, Hephurn, Garland, Peck, Davis, Brando - I could go on forever. Then there are living legends who appear every now and again to honor us with their magic. One such deity is Sophia Loren. She is a Goddess. Not just because of her obvious physical beauty BUT for her brilliance as an actress. She is organic. She is breath itself.
Today we were snowed in - happily snowed in. When you are snowbound, so to speak, it sort of gives you the license to break daily habits and routines. You know, such as eating all the wrong but so very right things, watching too much television, napping right after breakfast, not shaving, staying in your pj's, baking - not me but Glenn - baking macadamia nut white chocolate cookies and an hour later baking a delicious cinnamon crumble cake. Then after this with total abandon you watch a movie you never heard of from 2002 that stars Sophia Loren - Sophia Loren - she still makes movies? She must be 100 years old! Then in the opening credits we learn that Edoardo Ponte is the director. Ponte? Oh, he's her son! So she's doing him a favor by being in his movie. Wrong! Wrong! She's doing us a favor.
Sophia Loren is a walking master class in cinematic acting. At 78 - not 100 - she is still beautiful, accessible and brilliant. The movie is "Between Strangers" Please seek it out. Tell me, after you have seen it, that Sophia Loren doesn't break your heart with the map of her face that tells the story of lost love, lost dreams and redemptive hope. I am still reeling from Sophia's aura.
The universe is almost done making stars! Once upon a time it produced a galaxy. Miss Sophia Loren is like the North Star - still with us - shining ever so brightly - when she chooses to, that is.
Some say actors are better today. This, I believe, is true. They are better - more real. Are stars better today. Nope - not one bit. Sophia Loren is a star but Sophia Loren is a great actress, too. We can't say that about too many working actors today. That term SUPERSTAR gets thrown around like ketchup these days. Please! What is a superstar? Who is a superstar? Well the names I can immediately come up with are either dead , old or on their way to both. We have Streep, Clint, Streisand - someday, Clooney, DiCaprio and , thank the Lord we still have SOPHIA LOREN!