Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...


Wednesday, November 12, 2003  

Even when George Will talks about movies, he's wrong. Yesterday he pontificated on the nature of good casting and race, arguing that Anthony Hopkins was a reasonable choice to play Coleman Silk in The Human Stain because, well, isn't the whole point to riff on race? But jamming a very bad analogy into a prepacked defense of conservative "colorblind" race politics doesn't make Hopkins a good choice. Coleman Silk, as we're told in Roth's novel, is a sinewy, lightfooted former New York boxer (seems like he's even a lightweight, if I recall correctly). Forget race: earth-bound, clomping, chunky Hopkins fits none of those bills. Quoyle in the Shipping News would have been a good choice, and no one would confuse Quoyle and Silk. But then, art and ideology are a poor fit.

[Disclaimer: I haven't seen The Human Stain exactly because of the casting, and I'm not likely to. In fact, the casting of Nicole Kidman was equally dubious--but then Will didn't mention that.]

posted by Jeff | 12:53 PM |
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