I’ve been buying up cheap DVDs. I went all the way up to £1 for this one. I intend at some point to investigate Mike Nichols’ later work more fully. (I paid a whole £2 for Angels in America, which I think was a good decision. You can’t get it!)

I opened the box to check the condition of the disc (and, indeed, its presence — I’ve been cheated before) and my head went back this far. You’ll have to use our imagination here, but picture me holding my hands this far apart.

I’ve never seen SILKWOOD — when I was a teenager, it seemed like it would be boring Oscar-bait, as did just about every other Streep picture (I no longer feel quite that way) — but I know what it’s about. So this design seemed kind of tacky. It may in fact offer a clue as to what bad taste IS. Because it’s obviously sort of appropriate, but in a deeper sense, totally inappropriate. It’s a bit like all those WWII movies that use swastikas in their advertising imagery — those are much worse, but they’re so commonplace they often go unremarked.

6 Responses to “Discombobulation”

  1. Interesting. But I’ve never regarded Meryl as being “Oscar Bait” simply “Oscar Worthy.” I’m particularly fond of her wilder more unhinged performances in such fare as “Death Becomes Her,” “Florence Foster Jenkins” and “Doubt.”

    “Silkwood” is fascinating as it contrasts the ever-diligent Meryl with Cher who is simply THERE from Nanosecond One — the Most Natural of Naturals.

  2. I’ve been writing about Mike Nichols lately but in a rather different context than yours.

  3. That’s a great article!

    Bear in mind I was a kid. I was just getting into cinema in a big way, but for some reason stuff like Kramer Vs Kramer and Silkwood had no appeal. It seemed very mainstream. And I guess I wasn’t into the feminine side of mainstream cinema at the time. There are a lot of those films I’m still to catch up with.

  4. What Benton was pretty square writer-director, IMO. Mike Nichols began his career with very fancy, flashy movies but soon calmed down. He’s at his best with “Postcard From the Edge” IMO which is feminist and “pot feminist” at the same time.

  5. Here’s a better version of that clip

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