Monday, March 09, 2009

Ralph Fiennes & "The Reader"

We saw "The Reader" last night, it wouldn't have been our first choice of movie, but it was the best of a bad lot on offer locally.

The acting was good-ish, though hardly as brilliant as the Awards would have one believe. The storyline just didn't gel for me. I didn't believe the characters, the way they reacted (or didn't). The female lead was supposed to be illiterate yet could appreciate Homer and "War and Peace" when it was read aloud to her. Heck - I'm literate (well - sometimes, with a following wind) and I wouldn't appreciate Homer, or "War and Peace"!

An uncomfortable feeling remains that this movie and another recent one set in Germany, "Valkyrie", encourages the audience to feel sympathy for some of the perpetrators, tries to soften the memories of atrocities commited in World War 2. Forgiveness may be possible, complete ignorance of the young is understandable, some people may choose to forget what went on between 1939 and 1945 - but dumbing down is not acceptable. We should not have history painted in paler colors for new generations. The colors need to remain vivid and harsh; even harsher as years pass, memories dim, and those who fought and suffered are no longer around.

To be fair, there was one scene where the young man walks through the remains of a prison camp, sees the horror of it, though not a word was said. I felt the need for him to have dialogue with someone, explain how he felt about it - but he said nothing....did he even realise what he had seen? We don't know. The book from which the movie is adapted might well present a clearer picture.

One throw-away line from the movie imprinted itself on my mind -a law professor said to the young male lead, "If people like you don't learn from what people like me did - what's the point of it all?" The movie skewed that point a little, I thought.

Ralph Fiennes isn't an actor whose movies I rush to see, but having said that, he's been consistently good whenever I have happened upon his work. The character he played in "The Reader" wasn't easy to understand, in addition and unfortunately, it was hard to connect him, looks-wise, to the actor who played his younger self.

Here's Ralph Fiennes' natal chart, set for 12 noon in the absence of a known birth time. His rising sign remains a mystery, but the Moon would have been in Scorpio whatever time of birth, degree unclear.

A few points of interest:

Sun and Mercury in Capricorn - a fundamentally serious character who possibly does best in quietly intellectual parts rather than knock-around comedy or wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am romances. But Uranus is opposing Jupiter - an indication of continuing need to balance Jupiter's potential for excess and the outlandishness of Uranus is indicated.

His private life actually seems to be more in the wham-bam-thank-you range, in contrast to the subtlety of his acting. At Wikipedia there's evidence of his (alleged) sexy pastimes :

Fiennes stirred controversy in February 2007 when staff aboard a Qantas airline flight from Australia to India caught the actor leaving the same airplane lavatory as 38-year-old female flight attendant Lisa Robertson. At first denying any allegations of a mid-air tryst, Robertson later confessed to having unprotected sex in the stall with Fiennes, whom she had met just hours before. Fiennes reportedly was enroute to Mumbai, India, as a participant in AIDS awareness efforts for UNICEF. The organization would retain Fiennes as an ambassador, but Qantas would ultimately relieve Robertson of her duties.[9]

One month after the airline incident, Fiennes again made headlines when he reportedly disturbed sleeping guests at Bruges, Belgium's posh Hotel Tuilerieen during a 5 a.m. naked pool romp with four women. The actor was a guest at the hotel while shooting the film. Insider sources say that the women were brought and their company was enjoyed by a different member of the crew, whose name attracts no press.
Fiennes has a cluster of three planets in sexy Scorpio - Moon/Neptune/Venus, three planets whose natures would easily take on Scorpio's eroticism - emotional Moon, artistic Venus and imaginative Neptune. In several of Fiennes' films he plays rather dark parts. There's an uneasy darkness about him which casting directors obviously sense, and this is likely to come courtesy of his Scorpio trio.

There's more: Pluto at 12 Virgo is conjunct Fixed Star Zosma. I've met this star before in the charts of George Michael, Ann Coulter and blues singer Seth Walker. Because Pluto is a very slow mover, millions of people could find it conjunct Zosma in their natal charts. Only when it's linked up to personal planets is it likely to make itself felt; it may then appear to bring "a certain something" into clearer focus. Fiennes Pluto/Zosma links by harmonious trine to his Mercury in Capricorn, and might also link by sextile to Moon in Scorpio, but we can't be sure without time of birth. In this case the Zosma focus seems to be on a similar syndrome to George Michael's: a strange need to be caught doing something "naughty". Interesting!


Wisewebwoman said...

I enjoyed the book, T, but not to the degree I'd want to see a distortion of a movie on it. And most movies of good reads are usually a let down IMHO.
As to Ralph - he had a very long relationship with Francesca Annis (love her - did you ever see Lillie Langtry? - do!!)who was older (much like gorgeous Liam Neeson and Helen Mirren).
He seems conflicted, unhappy to me.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ I remember Francesca Annis in that film, and others - very attractive actress.

Yes, conflicted is a good description.

There's something about him that just doesn't draw me - something in his face really, I think. Daft, but that's how it works sometimes.

Wisewebwoman said...

Yeah, I wouldn't park his slippers under my bed either, T.