' ' Cinema Romantico: The Iron Lady vs. Cinema Romantico

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Iron Lady vs. Cinema Romantico

It sits beside my DVD player morning, noon and night. It teases, taunts and haunts me. Every time I glance at it I can feel its harsh gaze, its judgment, its inexorable demand to stop just letting it lay there and suck it up and pick it up and watch it.

When “The Iron Lady” hit theaters in Chicago back near the beginning of the year, I ignored it. I had biopic burnout, baby, I had it so bad every time I would see a trailer for “The Iron Lady” or “J. Edgar” I’d feel like I had bugs crawling on my skin. I turned a cold shoulder to Leo as Hoover and I just said no to Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher.

Then acclaim started rolling in for The Streep-ster. Award talk whistled in the wind. And before long an Oscar campaign was afoot. But the buzz was for the performance, not the movie, and, thus, I resisted. Besides, Viola Davis seemed the front runner for “The Help” (which I’d seen) on the strength of her wins at SAG and GG. And even more crucially I was the Chairman of The Rooney Mara Bandwagon! What would the tabloids say if I was spotted at a showing of “The Iron Lady”?! ("Head Of The Rooney Mara Bandwagon Seen At Late Showing Of 'The Iron Lady!' Supporters Are Aghast!")

Then, of course, The Streep-ster took home the Academy Award. And now I was officially a hypocrite. I was someone telling everyone Rooney deserved that statue when I had not even SEEN the performance that had actually earned it! I was THAT guy! I didn’t want to be THAT guy! I had to go see it. It was the conscientious thing to do. Yet even then I could not conjure the necessary cinematic fortitude.

I decided to wait for DVD and upon its release I moved it to the top spot in my Netflix queue. A few days later it arrived, I parked it next to the ol’ DVD player in anticipation of the long awaited watch, and there it has remained………for over a month. It’s become unbearable, a Mexican Standoff between Meryl’s Margaret and I. To watch means I will no doubt subjugate myself to another boring biopic. But to make that claim makes me a fraud because how can I dare condemn it without having seen it?!

And so, this dance of destiny goes on. A living room loaded every moment with drama. A red envelope that more and more appears as if its red is the theoretical blood shed in this utterly asinine battle. “The Iron Lady” vs. Nick. Who will win? Maybe her. Maybe me. But even if I do win I can’t help but fear I will really lose.


Andrew K. said...

Oh, Nick. What can I tell you? I will offer, if you winning means that you'll not watch it - if you "lose" and do watch it, you'll just lose. But, it's almost necessary that you see it in that way because - who knows - maybe we (I et al) have unjustly sullied your thoughts regarding it.

I sort of don't want you to watch it, because I suspect if you do watch it and don't like it you'll be even angrier at its laurels. And, I'd prefer you not to be angry, but I'd also prefer for you to not like it. It's like a Sophie's Choice for me. (See what I just did there?)

Nick Prigge said...

Ha! Great response! I mean, your comment is really how I feel every time I look at that DVD. All torn up inside!

I'm pretty sure that in the end I will, as you say, lose and watch it and therefore lose again. I have to watch it. I just have to. It's my duty.