March 16, 2010

"He'd yell from the other room: 'Press your hand into her back more! And when you take her face, really grab it!'"

It's a dangerous thing when your husband is the movie director ordering the beautiful naked actor to sex up that scene with you, the beautiful naked actress.
That movie "put a lot of stress on their marriage," the friend said. "Kate [Winslet] came to regret making ["Revolutionary Road"] with Sam [Mendes].

"They've been pretty much living separate lives since the end of the summer," the friend said. "They realized some time ago that they were not a good fit. They were more like brother and sister."
Movies are art, and they can affect us profoundly. They can jar us into realizing things about our lives — things we would otherwise exclude from our conscious mind. Then, consider what it is like when  you are inside of a work of art as an actress, summoning feelings to create a performance, and the feeling you need to display is deep in the sexual realm of your body and the feeling needs to extend to the gorgeous, naked Leonardo DiCaprio. And there in the other room is your husband, a man who no longer excites you in bed, and he is telling you — urging you — to transfer all the passion that is inside you onto that ravishing man.

She is Kate Winslet, the most brilliant actress of her era — renowned for her ability to manifest sexual desire on screen — and she needs to go on and on pulling performances out of the core of her being. Her once-husband, now-brother Sam Mendes is an artist too, and, one assumes, he understands all this and is able to let go of his beautiful love and go on...

48 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

Do we really need to break this down? Is it something that tells us about our own relationships?

I am really asking that. I am not sure it does but perhaps I am wrong.

mason88 said...

Actors & Actoresses- repeating memorized lines that someone else wrote and then faking emotions to what they're repeating. I'll take a pass on the whole ouvre.

traditionalguy said...

I like your phrase, "...transfer all the passion inside of you onto that gorgeous man." She sure pulls it out and transfers it in a few moments. I never knew a woman who could do that without a day of romancing first. Kate Winslet is therefore a national treasure to sexual actressing like Babe Ruth is to baseball. Play ball! It's spring and the sap is arising.

Hoosier Daddy said...

She is Kate Winslet, the most brilliant actress of her era

Say what?

Salamandyr said...

I get the feeling Althouse that your tongue is planted firmly in your cheek on this one. There's a bit too much wide-eyed sincerity in that prose to be completely believable.

Or maybe it's just me.

EDH said...

"He'd yell from the other room: 'Press your hand into her back more! And when you take her face, really grab it!'"

Judging from that short video clip of two sex scenes, I'm guessing Mendes true feelings leaked out when he "yelled" the direction to DiCaprio, "Now, climax prematurely!"

...transfer all the passion inside of you onto that gorgeous man.

Really?

With DiCaprio I always think of a boy playing a man. That's why I think his portrayals worked in Gangs and Departed, because the charaters there were doing just that.

themightypuck said...

I love Kate Winslet. She really dominates the screen. I had no interest in RR but I loved her in The Reader and she and DiCaprio were the only things that saved Titanic for me. I didn't realize until I read the after action report on her marriage to Mendes that her first husband died of some horrific cancer.

traditionalguy said...

On the set Mendes loved the film more than he loved her. Now she finds out that she is bored. Winslet is into excitement and not into marriage. Different strokes for different folks. That is also called serial monogomy, to distinguish it from bigamy. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

MayBee said...

Sam Mendes specializes in the unhappy-with-life-in-a-marriage film genre. Who can be surprised when he finds himself unhappy with life in a marriage?

William said...

Everything I know about life I learned from watching porn movies. The girls therein are terrible actresses, but they are usually very credible in the sex scenes. Perhaps they are pulling off a Meg Ryan, but my guess is that they are not acting. Passion is not that hard to manufacture when you're making out with an attractive person. The neat trick would be for a woman like Kate Winslet to act inhibited and constrained--which she has, in fact, done......It wouldn't take such a huge leap of artistic imagination for either of them to see how this could end badly. Perhaps that was their latent motivation for choosing this career path.

Paul Snively said...

William: Everything I know about life I learned from watching porn movies. The girls therein are terrible actresses, but they are usually very credible in the sex scenes. Perhaps they are pulling off a Meg Ryan, but my guess is that they are not acting.

Then you need to read Susannah Breslin more.

FloridaSteve said...

"She is Kate Winslet, the most brilliant actress of her era"

Well you lost me there.. Is this The Onion?

Sheepman said...

With DiCaprio I always think of a boy playing a man
Agree. I don't get his appeal as a leading man.

Kensington said...

Althouse:
"She is Kate Winslet, the most brilliant actress of her era..."

I don't know. If she's so brilliant, why didn't she realize that making this movie with her husband was a bad idea?

William:
"Everything I know about life I learned from watching porn movies. The girls therein are terrible actresses, but they are usually very credible in the sex scenes."

Which porn movies have you been watching, because, in the ones I've seen, the actresses are clearly faking it.

rhhardin said...

It's social awkwardness, born of the feeling that while a kiss can be merely acted, sexual intercourse cannot. And thus there's a region where things are not defined.

There was some actor in a mainstream nude sex scene who apologized in advance to the actress for either getting sexual aroused or not getting sexually aroused, whichever way it would come out.

No convention covered it.

Lem said...

If Kate Winslet can pretend so masterfully for the screen why not pretend in real life?

I thought it would be easier.. but then I really don't know.

prairie wind said...

Perhaps they are pulling off a Meg Ryan, but my guess is that they are not acting. Passion is not that hard to manufacture when you're making out with an attractive person.

Ha ha! I mean... oh, yeah. Those porn chicks are totally into it. You can tell.

Kirby Olson said...

Hollywood wants to supply the dream of overwhelming sex to Americans, because when Ordinary People have it, they're overwhelmed. But the truth is that actors and actresses are also Ordinary People, and they can be overwhelmed, too, even while overwhelming us. It's all so overwhelming! I'm overwhelmed.

Whatever whelmed means!

AllenS said...

The problem with actors and actresses is that they always appear to be acting. Even in real life.

victoria said...

Winslet's first husband isn't dead, very much alive.

I suspect that, in line with his reputation as a "ladies man" he strayed from the fold.

Shame shame


Vicki from Pasadena

Pastafarian said...

Althouse, was this some sort of snark? You don't seriously consider Di Crapio attractive, do you?

Are there any commenters here who consider Di Crapio attractive?

Fred4Pres said...

Revolutionary Road may have been a good book, but the movie was rather cold and lame. While the issues may have appeared to have been revolutionary in the late 1950s and early 1960s, time has shown them to be less than what came before.

I think we should find who we are suited for. But adultry as a means of searching for ones identity (or protesting a spouse who just wants to conform) is usually not a good idea.

Lem said...

This may sound terribly conventional but I didn't discover the joy of sex until I was capable of mentally detaching myself from the other person somehow.. to be completely selfish.. 'in the zone' as athletes describe it.

In the film Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989) Laura San Giacomo character tells to story of 'giving head' to someone and getting so into it that she was startled when the guy interrupted her by saying something.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If Kate keeps up the brilliance she could become as iconic as Kirsten Dunst.

Freeman Hunt said...

Her husband is supposed to feel awkward? He's a director; it's pretend.

Now the incredible badness of that movie, that's awkward.

weyed shut said...

"He sexes, eh" is pretty much the same coming and going.

Directing physical intimacy is participating in the act. They're all choreographing and watching themselves. Probably in RL sex, too, putting on a show and seeing themselves with bird's eye perspective. Performance. Sometimes art. Emotional intimacy and intensity about self.

MikeDC said...

Was it your intent to emasculate Sam Mendes by tagging everyone but him in the post, or was that an unconscious but humorous and appropriate omission?

CatherineM said...

I regret Kate made Revolutionary Road too.

ricpic said...

What's with the women jumping on top? Totally false. A woman on top when and only when the man permits her to get on top and not a moment sooner! Blow a gasket you feminazis, that's the way it is.

ricpic said...

I don't know whether DiCaprio is attractive or not but his acting is always forced. That intensity schtick where he knits his brows? Farcical.

michaele said...

I didn't believe the chemistry between Kate and Leo in Revolutionary Road (or Titanic for that matter). He doesn't really have much heft as an actor...just light and boyish. She always seems older than her years. Frankly, the sex and flirtation scenes between Leo's character and an office secretary were much more affecting. I felt something from that actress's vulnerabilty to Leo's charms.

Penny said...

""He'd yell from the other room: 'Press your hand into her back more! And when you take her face, really grab it!'""

Winslet also said Mendes never seemed awkward in directing her.

Perhaps he was TOO adept at "directing" his wife's actions, on screen and off.

Penny said...

"The problem with actors and actresses is that they always appear to be acting. Even in real life."

Very profound, AllenS, and on SO many levels.

Chip Ahoy said...

... therefore a national treasure ...

For Britain. Unless we get to claim her on grounds of her work in Hollywood.

Oh! This reminds me. I meant to see Alice in Wonderland today.

mccullough said...

DiCaprio was very good in Catch Me If You Can and the Departed and Blood Diamond.

He's a good-looking guy.

John Lynch said...

"Revolutionary Road" is like "Mad Men:the Movie." If you just pick a random scene, you'll see people in smoke filled offices, or Leo and Kate arguing. I swear, they got paid a lot to look miserable for two hours. I don't think I've ever seen more arguments in one movie. I started laughing after a while. It's so ridiculous. So much overacting.

A drinking game where you had to drink every time someone shouted would leave you well beyond the legal limit.

It's pre-boomer, and everyone smokes, is sexually repressed, and the men cheat on their wives. And no one is happy. Suburban life is torture, blah blah blah.

Gee, really, yet another boomer propaganda film. "See, look how unhappy people were before the 60s!" The 50s are over! No one cares anymore. Women are half the workforce and there's been no-fault divorce for my entire lifetime. We don't want to watch your boomer childhood world deconstructed. Please make a relevant movie. Thanks.

I think, if you want to make a movie about unhappy people in unhappy marriages, there should be a different take. I dunno, maybe someone should be making a movie about how staying together for the kids and keeping affairs quiet might be better than divorce, multiple marriages, and family chaos. THAT would be daring. Maybe not right, maybe not honest, but it would be daring.

Instead we get these movies about how terrible being married in the suburbs is. Children in these movies tend to be props, while the central drama is the housewife's angst and the husband's frustration. See "American Beauty" et al.

Fen said...

She is Kate Winslet, the most brilliant actress of her era — renowned for her ability to manifest sexual desire on screen

ie. she's just another whore.

Methadras said...

For me this brings up another question. Do we really need to see romantic/sex scenes in movies at all? Can't there be heavily implied imagery/suggestions that sex is about to occur? I just don't see the need to see a sex scene to promote/forward a story. Seems cheap unless the sex scene is pivotal to the story in the fact that something happens during the sex scene like a death or some revealed revelation or a key piece of dialogue. Just saying.

damikesc said...

*scratches off 'direct other dudes on how to properly nail your wife' from "Great Pieces of Advice For a Happy Marriage*

Whew. Dodged THAT bullet...

Cedarford said...

"She is Kate Winslet, the most brilliant actress of her era...."

Althouse goes fangal.

Lot of talented actresses of Winslet's generation are out there.

d-day said...

It's this storythis story only not to the same degree. (link NSFW)

Ralph L said...

DeCaprio and a young Brad Pittt are a teenage girl's idea of good looking men, i.e., they could pass for women with a little makeup and foam rubber.

c3 said...

I enjoy movies but when I read stories like this I can only ask myself
"Who are these people!?"

former law student said...

The biggest difference between them in the linked article was that she likes to go out while he likes to stay home. If that's a big deal my wife and I should have split a long time ago.

Their ten-year age gap might explain it.

Big Mike said...

I read somewhere that the male actors are supposed to say something along the lines of "pardon me if I have an erection during this scene, and especially please forgive me if I don't."

Paul said...

Ann said:

She is Kate Winslet, the most brilliant actress of her era — renowned for her ability to manifest sexual desire on screen — and she needs to go on and on pulling performances out of the core of her being.

You've got to be kidding me. Kate Winslet? "Manifest sexual desire on screen"?? Give me a break!

I hated her in "Titanic." DiCaprio too. Winslet's best work was in "Sense and Sensibility", directed by Ang Lee, with Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant among others, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. She played a delightful, but somewhat callow young thing. The accents were lovely, as was the countryside, the horse flesh, and the diaphanous gowns. Yawn.

You want a sex goddess? Take my advice and go with Sophia Lauren (http://194.249.196.220/proj07/r10/seminar2b10/Sophia%20Loren.jpg). Or Eva Green (http://img.listal.com/image/456158/600full-eva-green.jpg).

Jamie said...

methadras, hear hear (for as much as I take vicarious pleasure from a well-done love scene, I wonder if it's necessary). I just watched the Keira Knightley Pride & Prejudice again and was struck (also again) by the fact that they never even kiss until, like, one second before the credits roll. Including in the big relationship-reveal. But there are plenty of moments when the sexual tension between Darcy and Lizzy is tangible indeed.

(My personal jury is out on whether I prefer that version of P&P, with all the "what life was really like behind the velvet Regency curtain" stuff, or the Colin Firth one, beautifully acted, set, and researched. Each has its advantages...)

Leo diCaprio was very good-looking indeed... when he was actually sixteen, as opposed to now, when he looks like a fleshy-faced sixteen-year-old attempting to play a middle-aged man. Like poor Matthew Broderick. And I thought he was good in Gilbert Grape.

knox said...

John Lynch,

Thanks for that. You just described everything I don't like about Mad Men. The storylines that have to do with the agency and office relationships are great. The rest is boooooooring.

"The Suburbs Will Kill You" ... yeah, yeah we've heard it all before. "American Beauty" was one of the worst movies of the 90s. And you couldn't pay me to watch RR.