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Giving Daniel Day-Lewis A Run For His Po-Mouthing Money
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February 25, 2008, 06:41 PM
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I mentioned in my review of "There Will Be Blood" how Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis likes to say he always felt like an outsider growing up in England because of his half-Irish and half-Jewish ancestry. Yet, his father, C. Day Lewis, the son of a Protestant minister, was the Poet Laureate of England, which is the same job Chaucer had. You can`t get much more English than that. (And Day-Lewis`s Jewish grandfather, a knight of the realm, ran the Ealing movie studio when it made such famously English comedies as "Kind Hearts and Coronets.")

I`m working on a review of "Be Kind Rewind," which is directed by Michel Gondry, and I found something similar:

"Much of Be Kind Rewind takes place on a rundown street corner in Passaic, N.J., with which Gondry clearly developed an affinity. ... Gondry himself grew up in the Paris suburb of Versailles, and says he identifies with that feeling of detachment from the big city but also envy of its glitter and commercialism."

Right. Passaic and Versailles — two peas in a pod, both equally obscure. (Although I`m not sure that a lack of glitter is what first comes to mind when I hear the name "Versailles.")

I`m reminded of how much of art these days (always?) consists of preserving your adolescent emotions, such as self-pity. The Coen Bros. are living out an adolescent daydream of making an Oscar-winning movie with your brother, but at least they`ve never displayed the slightest hint that they feel sorry for themselves (or so I hope).