Lately I've been thinking about Halle Berry. No, I haven't been watching
the Swordfish DVD on freeze frame; I haven't even seen Swordfish.
Halle Berry has been everywhere lately, and for good reason as she just
was in a James Bond movie or won
some award or something. Anyway, she is always making news it seems, if
you think the news comes on at 7 PM EST with Extra and Entertainment Tonight.
The funny thing about Halle Berry, though, is how she
basically has turned her career around with just one movie that hardly anyone
will ever see. Consider Halle Berry's filmography just before Monster's
Two summers ago she was noticeably the worst actor in X-Men.
Frankly, it takes a lot of effort (or a lot of drugs) to have your performance
in a comic book movie stick out as being bad, considering you are pretty much
surrounded by none-dimensional performances. After X-Men, her next
role is in the John Travolta action flick Swordfish. People look
at Monster's Ball and see good acting, but you have to wonder how things
would be different if it weren't for Swordfish. If she didn't already
have her "first onscreen nudity," how would that affect what the Entertainment
Tonights of the world say (if anything) about the sex scenes of Monster's Ball.
It seems too convenient not to be planned. She finally "plays ball" (no
pun intended) in Swordfish, and then everything turns around.
Now, in interviews hyping the filming of the new James Bond movie, reporters
ask if she is now too esteemed of an actress to be in the movie. (If so,
someone give them Hillary Swank's number; she needs the work.)
However, I probably wouldn't even be thinking of Halle Berry at all if it
wasn't for her speech at the Oscar's. Well, actually, not really her speech
as much as the reaction to it, and not really the reaction to it as,
specifically, the reaction to it in the British media. Spending Easter/Oscar week in the United Kingdom, instead of the usual Entertainment Tonight-style
post Oscar hoopla reporting, I was treated to the British press' coverage.
There are many differences. First, the British press don't always know who
they're interviewing. They ask Reese and Ryan where they saw the Oscars from,
assuming that like them they didn't have the credentials necessary to make
not knowing Ryan was in freaking Gosford Park which is a freaking
British movie to begin with. However, more importantly, the British are
British and being British they have to hold in their emotions. And not only
do they hold in their emotions, they have to act all repulsed whenever someone
does not hold in their emotions. Therefore, when Halle Berry went up to
accept her award and the tears flowed, the British reacted with distaste.
To them, her speech was cringe-inducing. To them, her speech involved
more acting than she displayed in Monster's Ball (hold that: they
haven't gotten Monster's Ball yet). Article after article (literally lasting
the entire week I was there) was run complaining about how shameful her outburst
was. Maybe they just hate Halle. Maybe they were
just hoping countrywoman Naomi, Iman, or Sharon from Real World London
would have gotten that role in the new Bond movie. Who knows?
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