Thursday, 13 January 2011

Poison Ivy (4 Stars)

I once read that a good film can be measured by the number of second rate sequels that follow it. There have been four installments so far, each one poorer in quality than the one before. The films are unrelated to one another, except in the concept that a young girl invades a family and destroys it through her wiles and sexuality.

The first film has some merit, but there is one big problem with it: Drew Barrymore! She is totally miscast as the teenage seductress. However much she tries we can't take her seriously. Everything about her radiates a good girl image.

I need help with something. Leonardo DiCaprio is supposedly in the film in a minor role, but I must have blinked and missed him. Can someone please tell me what scene he's in?


  1. Hmmm I disagree about Drew Barrymore being miscast. She worked entirely for me as the teenage seductress. I find her despicable (which is awful of me, I acknowledge, given that she is still a kid of course) and I found Ladd and Skerrit thoroughly believable. Skerritt is an actor whose performances I have always enjoyed and in this one his portrayal of the weakness in character has always stayed with me. I found Barrymore's character despicable but I found Skerrit to be pathetic and that memory has always stayed with me.

  2. We have to agree to disagree on this. Drew Barrymore just exudes a good girl image, whatever role she's playing. Just think how a younger Winona Ryder would have fit into this role. Or better still, Kirsten Dunst.

  3. Kirsten Dunst would have been too young when the film was made, but I grant that had it been made when she was of an age it would have been a better film (or Milano as well in _this_ film would have been a better choice). Ryder would have been a good choice I'm sure - I just don't care for her. She has a distinctive stamp that she puts on each role she plays, and it is not a stamp that works for me.

    Some actors are like that: Depp, Hepburn (both Audrey and Kate), and Ryder.

    Other actors don't. At the front of my mind these days is Helena Bonham Carter. I had talked to my BF about THe King's Speech and wanting to go see it. I told her that the role of the future Queen Mum was played by the actress who plays Bellatrix Lestrange but that shouldn't deter her. My friend just wasn't interested. (I still haven't seen it - I'm holding out to go with my dad.) Later she watched it with some other friends. When we talked later she had evidently forgotten the conversation for she told me she was 90% certain that one of the actresses was the person who played Bellatrix. I laughed and teased her saying, yes I had mentioned that. My friend was completely astounded by Bonham Carter's completely different character in the movie.

    Bonham Carter has that rare quality as an actress of being the role she is in. Whether it is batshit crazy like Bellatrix or warm, human, humourous like in The King's Speech. I've seen many films with her and have always enjoyed her performances.

    Ryder on the other hand? Like Tom Cruise, I don't prefer to see a movie with her in it, tho unlike with Cruise, I have seen several of Ryder's films.

  4. Mishkarma, there's just one point I'll pick up from your comment. What do you mean by putting a distinctive stamp on a film? If you're talking about a distinctive style that an actor brings into a film, I disagree strongly in the case of Johnny Depp. Compare his performance in the three films "Ed Wood", "The Ninth Gate" and "Pirates of the Caribbean". It's like a completely different actor in each film.


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