Archive | Age Matters

New York City Balance

I had to laugh at myself tonight. I was coming back from a screening, and was in this great, gentle mood. I’d taken a big leap of faith in the morning and had received such lovely support for it that by the time the movie outstripped my expectations, I was floating on Cloud Nine. On the train home from Midtown, I beamed at everyone, then got off a stop early to savor the cool, sweet quiet of my neighborhood.

Really, the word for how I was feeling was beatific.

Just as I was rounding the corner to my building, ready to write about all this good will, two twentysomething girls tripped by in clattery, clunky heels, nearly knocking me over though the street was otherwise empty. They were screeching so loudly that I instantly forgot my love for humanity. Visions of Alternate Universe Lisa being rudely awakened by their blather danced before my eyes. Continue Reading →

Q&A: Patricia Clarkson

With her fog-horn voice and barely contained mischief, the luminous Patricia Clarkson is the sort of movie star who wows people who claim not to be wowed by movie stars. When I met her at the Hamptons International Film Festival, she was so funny, generous, and clever that I pounced at the recent opportunity to interview her about “Learning to Drive,” the Isabel Coixet-helmed adaptation of the eponymous Katha Pollitt essay. In it, Clarkson plays New York City book critic Wendy, who is newly on her own as her husband (Jake Weber) has left her and her daughter (Grace Gummer) has moved to a Vermont commune. A lifelong city kid, Wendy realizes she needs to learn to drive if she’s ever going to see her daughter again, so she enlists the services of Darwan (Ben Kingsley), a Sikh immigrant who drives a taxi by night and teaches driving by day. “Learning to Drive” is currently in theaters – and “Maze Runner: Scorch Trials,” in which Clarkson also appears, will open Friday.

Although Clarkson’s publicist refers to her as Patty, I was too awed to use anything but the actress’s full name in audible italics whenever addressing her directly. It seemed appropriate; Clarkson speaks in audible italics as well – a raspy patois of spoken-word poetry and bawdy, feminist delight.

PATRICIA CLARKSON: I think we met at a backyard austere mansion party. It was very Hamptons.

LISA ROSMAN: We did, Patricia Clarkson! I can’t believe you remember! You were there for “Learning to Drive,” actually. [The film did the festival circuit last year.]

PC: Oh my god! I was just delirious. I mean, can you believe the roster of that film? There were so many incredible women involved. I have had many, many photos taken of me in my life but one from a screening of this film takes the cake. The women! I am with Katha Pollitt, [screenwriter] Sarah Kernochan, Isabel Coixet, [producer] Dana Friedman, and [editor] Thelma Schoonmaker. I can’t believe Thelma came on board! She said, ”Okay, I’ll take a break from working with Marty [Scorsese] and edit this film,” because she knew it was a great project. Continue Reading →

Free Bird

This morning as I comb out the bird’s nest that was once my Barbie locks and iron the nipped-in Mad Men dress I’m wearing on today’s show, I’m laughing, I really am. While out at the beach for a few weeks, I only washed my hair once, I never shaved anything, I didn’t put on deodorant, I never even brushed my hair. (My bun got more “bee-hivey” each day.) Sure, I brushed my teeth and took showers; hot water and clean teeth are wonderful. But I rarely put on lipstick–let alone clothes with a waist or, G-d forbid, a bra. It turns out that, at this ripe old age, a true vacation entails zero grooming or dolling up. I have reverted to my nine-year-old self–that tomboy in a smock dress and Converse sneakers–and it is glorious.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy