Sunday, March 07, 2010

Olivia Williams

Olivia Williams is all eyes in "The Ghost Writer"

Just saw Roman Polanski's new film, The Ghost Writer, which featured a standout performance by Olivia Williams as the sharp-edged, no-frills wife of a controversial former British Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan) who's obviously modeled after Bush Doctrine-suckass Tony Blair.

In his New Yorker review, David Denby cut to the quick of Williams' performance as a cool and calculating woman-behind-the-great-man when he wrote: "Williams gaze could sear the fat off a lamb shank."

Great line and spot on!

"Where have we seen her before?" I asked my long-suffering girlfriend Amy. "She was wicked good!"

"I dunno," Amy replied, perplexed. But the next day, post-Googling, she called and stumped me when she said, "We just saw Olivia Williams in one of this year's Oscar nominees!"

Now I was perplexed. But when Amy filled in the blanks and told me the film in question was (the excellent) An Education, it dawned on me...yes, washing the gray streaks out of her Prime Minister wife's hair, I could see that Olivia played Miss Stubbs, Carey Mulligan's school teacher confidante with the pulled back hair and librarian specs!

Miss Stubbs gives lads the chubbs!

It's not the first time Williams, with her air of erudition and slender build, has essayed the role of an educator, having previously been cast as Miss Cross, the elementary school teacher who becomes Max Fritsch's unrequited object of desire in Wes Anderson's Rushmore (1998).

Max is maxed out by Miss Cross' hot buns

Speaking of Rushmore, director Brett Ratner was such a fan of that film that he begged Olivia Williams to put in a cameo appearance as brainy scientist Dr. Moira MacTaggert in X-Men: The Last Stand.

As yes, it's a brainy-but-sexy aura that I find strangely appealing. Apparently, so did Joss Whelan when he cast Olivia Williams as Adelle DeWitt in his Dollhouse TV series.

DeWitt of "Dollhouse"

If the brain is the sexiest part of one's body, then Olivia Williams is pure pin-up material, and her roles radiant erudite eros.


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