Sunday, July 11, 2010
Those Mean, Mean... Conservatives?
Certainly, one the most-anticipated summer films of 2010 is going to be Christopher Nolan's Inception.
Following 2008's The Dark Knight and continuing Nolan's collaboration with Michael Caine -- who appeared in both of Nolan's Batman films as well as The Prestige -- the film promises to deliver the kind of mind-bending sensory bonanza, coupled with deep storytelling, that Nolan has become famous for.
In advance of the film's release, however, some of the film's stars have taken the film's premise -- the prospect of implanting ideas in other peoples' minds -- as an opportunity to air their political views.
In reality, there's nothing particularly deeply provocative in it. Leonardo DiCaprio suggests that BP CEO Tony Hayward should be implanted with some sense of the responsibility he carries following the disastrous gulf oil spill. DiCaprio is entirely correct that Hayward carries a lot of responsibility -- although Hayward is likely as aware of it as he is of the rapidly-climbing bill his company will have to pay in order to clean up the mess.
Unlike DiCaprio, however, Ellen Page (whose last role of significance was in 2007's Juno) seems to approach the question from the perspective of someone who's just been waiting for a high-profile enough role to voice her opinions.
She accuses former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin of needing "a little seed of compassion or some holistic intelligence, and maybe a little expansion of mind".
So to Page, Cheney -- who was Vice President in the administration that delivered billions of dollars in aid to HIV sufferers in Africa -- is uncompassionate. Yet Page delivers her remarks with an affect that would would describe as little more than chilly. There's clearly some degree of malice in Page's words, yet it's Cheney and Palin who are in need of a "seed of compassion".
As she delivers her remarks -- going on to suggest she'd like to "get rid of some of that fear that seems to be creating a lot of ignorance, and thus passing on that fear to a lot of people. And causing a lot of problems" -- Page comes across almost as a junior Janeane Garofalo, whose comments about Tea Party activists were well-received by race-baiting opponents of that movement, and could certainly be said to promote fear of the limbic-brain-addled racists who allegedly dominate that movement.
(Apparently, it isn't the malicious Janeane Garofalo who could use that "seed of compassion" Page rambles on about.)
The political views of Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page certainly won't make Inception any better or worse as a film. But Page's comments just serve as a reminder of the sanctimoniousness of Hollywood liberalism -- where their comments can be as malicious as they deem pleasing, but it's always the other side who are mean.