Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jennifer Connelly "Once Upon a Time in America" - The First Time...: December 1, 2010

The first time I saw Once Upon a Time in America I must have been around 6 years old. At the time I can remember having a very strange reaction to it; much like a fever dream, its impact was felt in sporadic, disconnected moments, both beautiful and brutal. Seeing it later I understood two things: 1) That's pretty much what the film is, 2) the cut I saw was probably the chopped and butchered version the studio put out, making it even more confusing and confounding. For all the violence that was doled out in the film, there is even more beauty in the mix. One of the most beautiful scenes is an early encounter between a young Noodles and Deborah, played in the flashback by the then 11 year old Jennifer Connelly.

Now, I'm about to tread a fine line here that I don't really want to get into, but must, considering my history with the film and with the actress. There is an ick factor inherent when you begin to discuss the beauty of a young girl, no matter what age you were when you first saw her. Think more recently of Natalie Portman and you'll know what I'm talking about. Seeing fanboy discussion of her "reaching legal age" was fucking digusting and downright abusive, directly or indirectly.

But I grew up watching Jennifer Connelly grow up. I still contend that she is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and talented actresses in Hollywood. I come to this conclusion after years of watching her go from child star to hot teen starlet to decorated actress. To me, she's like a girl you grew up with, in the neighborhood, seeing her go from the pretty little girl to the gorgeous woman we now know. That starts here, for me, as a kid a few years younger than she at the time. I hate to make a case for the beauty of a child star, but watch that scene again and think back to a time when you were the age of the children in that scene. You would have fallen head over heels too.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home