Thursday, October 25, 2012

BITCHES & BLAGGARDS: Glenn Close and Michael Douglas

This is the ninth in the "Bitches and Blaggards" series; posts devoted to my favorite movie bad girls and rogues.  A bitch is a selfish, malicious woman. A blaggard is a villain, a rogue and a black-hearted man. Both are bad, both are devastatingly alluring.

October's B&B are Michael Douglas and Glenn Close.  I must say it feels a bit strange to be writing about people who still walk among us, but I shall press on.
Glenn Close

Glenn Close is one of my favorite actresses. Like Meryl Streep, there seems to be nothing this lady can’t do. However, unlike Meryl, Glenn wears nasty like a second skin. Even where Meryl was the B in the Office in “The Devil Wears Prada,” you knew she had a bit of a soft spot for her clueless assistant. If Glenn played Miranda Priestly, little Annie Hathaway’s pet rabbit might have been stew. Glenn can play sweet and angelic, but I like her best as a bitch with great style and an even greater attitude and wardrobe. She's bad, she knows it and she likes it!


Fatal Attraction


Is Alex really a bitch? Well, she was to the bunny, I admit. And she is generally viewed as every man’s nightmare of the woman scorned, but I think she just lacks self-control and self-esteem. After all, look at her: she is attractive and successful. Obviously something is missing, but the pregnancy, well, maybe it was the hormones? Was Michael Douglas a victim here? Oh, I could go on for days, but see below.

Dangerous Liaisons

As the manipulative and bitter Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil, Glenn is a menace! She and Valmont (played with equal bile by John Malkovich) play their little cold-hearted games of seduction and ruination. Merteuil shows she has nerves of steel at the end of the game, but even cracked ice melts. Glenn is truly brilliant when she comes face to face with herself.


101 Dalmatians

As a real life Cruella De Vil, Glenn is a vision in black and white fur and cigarette holders (with a dash of Norma Desmond). She wants the puppies, she needs the puppies and, therefore, she must have the puppies! Fun, nasty, and totally over the top, her cartoon villainy is unforgettable.

Add these to her sizzling (like in the fires of hell) performance in the TV series “Damages,” and Glenn’s body of wicked work places her front and center among those we’d like to see in the bitch hall of fame.



Michael Douglas

Remember when Michael Douglas was referred to as Kirk Douglas’ son? Now Michael is such a huge star that Kirk Douglas is known as Michael Douglas’ dad. A real movie star who can act, Michael can play good but troubled and be totally believable and sympathetic, but it’s as a charming bad-ass with a flawed moral compass that I like him best. When Michael is bad, it usually takes a mighty force to stop him.


Wall Street
Yes, greed is good and Gordon Gekko is bad. But is he really bad or just a victim of society's endless apatite for more? Or a symbol? Oh, who cares. Douglas is dynamic, appealing, repulsive and drop dead alluring. Buy!


A Perfect Murder
Why can't Mike just love Gwen and why can't Gwen stop fooling around with her murderous lover? They have a great life and a great apartment. Mike - just ask Gwen for the money - she has it. But no, more fun to have her killed - by her boyfriend (talk about having your cake and eating it, too). You're a twisted fellow, but my, you look good in a $4,000 suit.



Fatal Attraction

While the focus is on Glenn Close's out of control Alex, let's look at the creep she latched on to: great life great wife, great kid. But, oh, he's lonely because wifey left him on his own for a while. So, he picks up what he thinks is a tissue he can blow his nose in and discard and - oops - not so fast - she demands attention. Douglas is great as the bastard with a victim complex. He and Close do a dangerous dance that is unforgettable and unsolvable (until wifey appears with a gun). Hey, all the guy wanted was a little cheap sex for free.

Both Glenn Close and Michael Douglas are two actors whose films I would go to see just because they are in them. Now, that's a star!



10 comments:

Samantha said...

Oh thanks for this blog...I love both of these actors. I also loved that you put them in the bitches and blaggards! Good job.

silverscreenings said...

I love both these actors - especially when they're in villainous roles. I think Michael Douglas' Gordon Gekko is one of his best performances.

ClassicBecky said...

Great choices for your B&B series! You really hit it on the head when you said about Close ..."even cracked ice melts." That is when she is at her best, I think.

As for Douglas, well, I thought he really was a blaggard and a cad and a jerk for dallying casually with mentally unstable Close -- I felt sorrier for the bunny than for him!

The Lady Eve said...

Glenn Close was divine in "Fatal Attraction," but my favorite of her performances is in "Dangerous Liaisons" - absolute Oscar-worthy perfection. I lost track of "Damages" after the second season (very curious where it is now). My only complaint was that Glenn looked a bit over-botoxed and tight-faced in it but I suppose that could be attributed to her character.

I had sympathy for both Glenn and Michael in "Fatal Attraction." For her because her character was unable to live up to the in-charge 'independent woman' persona she initially projected. I had some sympathy for Michael because, like so many generally decent male characters (and men), the lure of (seemingly) free hot sex was more than he could resist. A proposed alternative ending: After Michael's wife finishes off Glenn and saves the family, Michael discovers she's also saved a bullet or two for him.

Great B&B choices again, FlickChick!

said...

Michael and Glenn are great performers, two of the most talented nowadays. Great that they worked together in Fatal Attraction.
I listened to your voice interview and saw your list of favorite film scenes on Film FanFare. Congratulations for both the achievements!
Kisses!

FlickChick said...

Thanks, Samantha - glad you liked it.

FlickChick said...

Silverscreenings - oh yes - GG was an awesome performance. It really put MD on the map.

FlickChick said...

Becky - yes - the only one you can really feel for in that movie are the kids and the poor bunny.

FlickChick said...

Lady Eve - personally, I would have preferred if the wife saved the last bullet for her hubby!

FlickChick said...

Thank you so much, Le - you are a sweetie.