Who you callin’ plastic?

I’m a big Anglophile. Having been born in Cleveland instead of London is the greatest injustice inflicted against my person. And while my feelings towards the Royal Family can best be described as indifferent, I was put off by author Hiliary Mantel’s bizarre attack on the Duchess of Cambridge. Mantel is a brilliant writer, there’s no doubt. Her two books on Henry VIII are masterpieces that deserved all those awards. I can’t wait for the concluding volume of the trilogy. But calling Kate Middleton a “…shop-window mannequin with a plastic smile whose only role in life is to breed” is low class. I wonder what’s at the heart of Mantel’s loathing? Let’s explore a theory I have.

Here’s the Duchess. Humm. Girl-next-door is my thing.
And here’s Mantel.
OH, HOLY SHIT! I think I might be onto something.

“…a jointed doll on which certain rags are hung…with no personality of her own, entirely defined by what she wore.”


You wanna play rough cupcake? Who’s dressing you? A rep from the Longshoreman’s Union?

Hilary Mantel

Methinks Ms. Mantel is consumed with envy. Spend year after year writing about the Royals and eventually you’d probably want to be one. I’d sell my rotting soul for the kind of success she enjoys. She should be happy instead of tense.

*     *     *

Why the Academy didn’t ask me to vote: The rest of the lot.

Beasts of the Southern Wild. Didn’t see it. I have no idea what it’s about. Scary poster.

Les Misérables. I am reluctant to say anything negative. Their efforts were so sincere. Poor Anne Hathaway cut all of her beautiful hair off for the cause. She should get an anti-vanity award for that alone. But, I’m sorry. I never saw the musical and was unaware of how relentlessly dreary the plot is. And I couldn’t UNDERSTAND a word they were singing. It’s unintelligible. That’s been a reoccurring problem for me. I’ve always found lyrics difficult to decipher. It’s why for many years I thought Jimmy Hendrix was singing “Scuse’ me while I kiss this guy.”

Life of Pi. Loved it. I’ve heard some people grumbling about the ending but I completely bought into it. Unfortunately, about midway through, the 3D glasses started to feel like a giant hand clamped onto my face and the discomfort took me out of the story. I have to wear glasses in a theater, which means I had to put the 3D glasses over my regular glasses. What a pain! No more 3D movies for me.

Silver Lining Playbook. I don’t understand the supporting actor nominations for De Niro and Jackie Weaver. They were fine performances but nothing special. It was a little upsetting watching De Niro cry because he wasn’t a good daddy. Travis Bickle crying? Jake LaMotta crying? Bullshit. But Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are accomplished, great actors with chemistry to spare. They’re the new Tracey/Hepburn. The new Bogie/Bacall. They should be forced at gunpoint to make more movies together. Loved it. Best Picture. Cooper is going to do a revival of The Elephant Man on Broadway. I can’t wait. Do you suppose they can get Lawrence to play Mrs. Kendal?

*     *     *

10,000 thank-yous to the lovely and eminently readable Madam Weebles for the generous invitation to be her first guest blogger. A much greater honor than she could possibly imagine. And, no, that’s not one of my witty sarcasms.

36 thoughts on “Who you callin’ plastic?

  1. I’ve read that Ms Mantel struggles with health issues.I guess it’s made her cranky.Or maybe she hates her own wardrobe…Hate those 3D googles!I note that our cinema has them on the shelf with paracetamol.walter tango foxtrot, to quote Sav!

  2. I found your opinions on these films very interesting and I agree with a lot of what you said….”BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD” is a WONDERFUL pIcture, and very much worth seeing….The subject matter and the two main performances are quite remarkable. “LIFE OF PI” is my pick for Best Picture. Will it win? Who knows. Never 2nd guess the Academy Members…lol….Luckily, I did NOT see it in 3D so wasn’t distracted by uncomfortable glasses….Hooray1″LES MIS”….If you ever get a chance to see the 25th Anniversary edition on PBS, well…..that’s the way to see this show, if you cannot see a First Class Stage Production. It was ALL miscast, and the singing…oy!”SILVER LININGS”…Loved it. And those two ARE making another film together.

    • How does a film like BEASTS even get nominated?! I don’t know of anyone, aside from you, who has seen it. Is it a vanity nomination? There’s virtually no chance it’ll win. Is it true that Cooper and Lawrence are making another film together or are you just toying with my emotions?

  3. Les Mis.. My daughter, the classically trained one, will not have a word said against it. And it had the beautiful Anne Hathaway. I myself have lost ALL of my hair for my profession, so I know… I KNOW! :¬)

    • I will not tussle with your daughter but put me in the I don’t get it column. After seeing how dreary it is, I’m astonished that it’s as popular as it is. Who knew the public went in for all that sadness?A smooth dome looks fine on you. Anne look TONS better with her mane. I see it’s growing back and for that I’m glad. That was a one-take scene! Can you imagine if they had blown it!?

  4. Poor Mantel! Telling her that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones would sound like ironic understatement. I’m not sure she wants to be a Royal, but I think she’d settle for slim and attractive. I’m definitely not seeing Les Misérables now. Your review of Beasts of the Southern Wild is commendable for its lack of spoilers.

    • Excellent point, my simian friend. Perhaps it has nothing to do with royal lineage. Perhaps Manetl’s envy (and I do believe it’s envy) is all wrapped-up in her physical appearance. I get it. I get jealous over all sorts of superficial things. People who drive a better car than I do. Youth. But she should have kept that shit in check. It was mean. My poor Kate. I hope she’s okay.

  5. Hello – I’m a legit Brit – born and bred in the Garden of England from generations of Brits – well from what I’ve so far traced back, we’re pretty much all in the same parish for crying out loud, my forebears were not the type to go colonise the world it seems.Royals… used to be dead against them in my younger more rebellious days. However over the years I’ve mellowed, the fact that we know who is going to be king/queen is a good thing – we don’t have the hype and election nonsense and the guy trying to run the country (i.e. the PM) is carefully put in his place by having to get everything he wants actually signed off by the Queen – an act of parliament needs royal assent to become law. Now the Queen doesn’t throw stuff out we’d have a constitutional crisis, but realising he’ll be voted out one day but she’ll still be Queen and that her son will be King etc. I think is a good thing to ground politicians who might think they are some more than they really are not!I didn’t get her attack really. In the world of image what does she expect in some respects. I believe the quote was, as ever, taken out of context a bit by the press. However your photo montage there does tell a story.Also I’m reading her books at the moment… must be me, I know I’m not a connoisseur but actually I’m not that impressed? I expected to be more drawn into the story, I feel more a partially interested bystander.

    • Oh, there you go, bragging on your lineage. SO lucky. Did you ever wish you had been born in Cleveland instead of Britain? I didn’t think so.There seems to be a great wave of dislike for the royals but I would argue that they bring a ton of money into the country via idiot tourists like myself, for instance. I’ve been to England a few times and upon every visit, I’ve done the royal-thing and have enjoyed it tremendously. They almost pay for themselves, don’t they? And each successive generation seems more grounded and…well…”real” than the previous. As real as you can expect them to be, which isn’t very.As far as Mantel’s books, I am predisposed to liking that stuff so you probably shouldn’t take my word for it.

  6. The Royals? No time for them at all, far too Masonic and inbred for my liking, however, I would have to say that the Duchess of Cambridge is a wee cracker. Oul tubby on the other hand reminds me of that creature fae the filum ‘Lord of the Rings’.Les Mis? Is that no a story about a gay spinster?

  7. Holy hell. That woman looks like the love child of a buck toothed farmer and a gimpy pig.She can’t even be serious in spouting off like that. What a hag. I’m no particular fan of Kate Middleton, but fuck that jealous, classist bull crap

  8. Ms. Mantel is, sadly, not a looker. But that’s no reason to take potshots at the Duchess. She doesn’t do it for me, but she’s attractive. I’m an Anglophile as well–I went to graduate school in London and I still get “homesick” for London to this day. Having said that, I think the royal family is unnecesssary. I have some English friends who are staunch Royalists (one of them even stands when God Save the Queen is played), and some who would be thrilled if the monarchy was abolished.Also, thank YOU for gracing the pages of my blog—you were a big hit!

    • Well, the Duchess does it for me, I can promise you that. You went to graduate school in London and left? That shows poor judgement. I would argue that the royal family is a money-making industry in England. May they rein forever. We don’t have the equivalent here, except for Mayor Bloomberg.

    • Believe me, I didn’t want to leave, I was ready to stay on for the remainder of my PhD, but since I don’t have a trust fund, I had to work, and I couldn’t get a work visa there. It’s one of my deepest regrets to this day.

  9. You have made me laugh to no end re: first half of post.DeNiro has been disappointment after disappointment since just after The Mission when he began caricaturing himself.

  10. I was going to write about Hilary Mantel and then thought why give her more of the publicity she obviously craves.Quelle cow!You are brave to see Pi in 3D. My SIL was traumatised even without.

    • You took the high road, which is commendable. I, on the other hand, can rarely, if ever, keep my opinions to myself. It’s part of my charm. It’s a pity the 3D glasses were such a distraction because the movie was quite beautiful to watch. Good story, too. You don’t often get both.

  11. I wonder how many people criticising Mantel (and I notice it took about 3 seconds for it to be comments about her physical appearance), took the time to read a thoughtful, insightful article about the role of female members of the Royal Family in its entirety. The quotes are taken out of context and form a small part of a wider ranging article. Read and learn, folks, instead of reading biased summaries in media designed for the uneducated and prejudiced.

  12. Exactly Looby; it’s crazy how folk are so quick to condemn without taking the time to understand the whole picture and read her observations within the context they were intended.I agreed with her.

  13. Pst, you’re not hiding your head just because you got the Mantel/Duchess of Cambridge thing a bit wrong, are you? I thought you were made of sterner stuff. Back on the horse mate, and be quick about it !!! Your public, well me anyway, awaits.

  14. That’s me, Paulo1, up there signed in as anonymous. I can’t seem to get by your devious signing in process. What profile am I supposed to select?

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