How’s that for a weird title. Let me explain. My husband and I went to the movies this weekend and saw Skyfall. Don’t worry, this is not a movie review. I will say though, it was a very enjoyable movie, and I thought Javier did a very good job at creating an interesting villain. What struck me though were two things, one minor, and one major, very major. Let’s talk about the minor one first. Creating something that is appealing to the mass market is no easy thing, but creating something that appeals to the mass market for 50 years is incredible ! Whoever is responsible for handling the Bond franchise has done a phenomenal job of making sure that it continues to change with the times, while still keeping the brand intact. Wow, that is almost impossible, but they continue to make it work with each film. Kudos !
OK, now for the major one, at least from my viewpoint. We as a nation ( I don’t want to speak for anyone else), have become completely obsessed with the ” appearance ” of youth. In other words, someone that is seventy actually thinks that plastic surgery will make everyone else think that they’re really only twenty. HELLO ! REALLY ! Sorry folks, when what used to be your cheeks, are now sitting somewhere around your hairline, trust me, that’s not what you looked like at twenty.
Ok, let me say right now, I think plastic surgeons are extremely important. There are a great many circumstances where reconstructive surgery is imperative to living a normal life, and that they possess the skills to do that is highly admirable. But in this instance, I’m referring to elective surgery.
Now, going back to where we were. Actors in particular, are under great stress to try and appear youthful. We all know that most moviegoers are young, and therefore most movies are geared toward the young. It’s a simple matter of financial mathematics. So as an actor ages, their source of income continues to diminish, and the need to help sway the hands of time is enormous. The other favorite trick in the movie business for performers of a certain age, is to either avoid ” close ups “, or put on a softening lens that’s as thick as Mr. Magoos’ glasses ( Ok that one really dates me ).
Believe it or not, I’m now going to get to the “major one “. Skyfall, as in 3 other Bond films, features Dame Judi Dench as ” M ” in all her aging, and wrinkled glory. The director also didn’t shy away from a number of very ” close ups “, and if there was a softening filter used, it wasn’t noticeable. And folks, as far as I’m concerned she was stunning !
What her face showed was the beauty, strength, and determination that is necessary to live a long life. That in itself is quite an accomplishment for all of us. It’s not easy to get into your seventies and beyond, there are a lot of obstacles to overcome. Disease, accidents, crime, and natural disasters are all enemies to reaching a ripe old age. Our wrinkles come from laughter that reaches down to our toes, from tears that rip through our heart, from feeling the warmth of the summer sun on our face, or squinting against a freezing rain. Our wrinkles come from all the things that make life special, they are are songs and sonnets, why in the world would we try and hide them. So thank you Dame Judi for allowing the film makers to show your age in all it’s splendor, and thank you to the filmmakers for having the courage to let us see it.
The next time you look in the mirror and see a new wrinkle, rather than cringing, pat yourself on the back, you just earned another badge of honor. Congratulations!
All the Best,