Redgrave as Metaphor

What happens when a materialist film critic has an anxiety dream:

Shoes—shoes lost, shoes gained, shoes lost. I’ve lost my own and don’t have another pair with which to safely exit this terrible claustrophobic party thrown by a celeb hostess in a gentrified section of Brooklyn. Others (the hostess’s assistant!) keep stealing my original pair, bringing me five more pairs that are impeccably beautiful and whisking them away as soon I get ensnared in another vapid starfucker conversation. We’re talking perfectly soft and shined loafers and boots by Prada, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Louboutin—God, labels seem so pre-Covid. I find myself longing for such refined empty luxury.

Vanessa Redgrave—even longer and blonder and more displeased than she seems on screen—turns out to be the hostess. Grand-dame sociopathy masquerading as cool calm collection. She sweeps and droops around, getting drunker and drunker on perfectly rendered martinis–lemon not olive–as her guests wax and wane. At one point there are people crammed into every corner of her too-white house. Someone does the math and declares it 2012 guests, which is a 1:1 ratio for every square inch of the living room. White furniture white rugs white walls white chandeliers. Her house is hoarder-stuffed but with the most beautiful things: Chagall paintings and Brancusi sculptures and 70s Dior so it’s hard to register the same disdain as if it were plastic angels from Home Shopping Club. More a mixture of envy and disgust and judgment that I meta-judge within myself. I feel as if I’m a poor kid in Newton again. I’m stuck because, oy, no shoes so end up sleeping on a very white couch, my red lipstick leaving a crime scene on a cushion.

Redgrave’s assistant has to take the E train to wake her up from her drunken stupor and I judge them both for that. Redgrave should cough up for a car service, assistant could easily walk as Redgrave lives in Carol Gardens, bordering the river, and assistant lives in Cobble Hill. (Let no shoe metaphor go unturned, thanks unconscious.)

My parents’ house—a vacation home tat is permanent now—is on river, too. Dad sleeps in living room and I feel a little sad that they’ve dropped the pretense of shacking up but it’s his bed I prefer. Stuck under a window, TV parked nearby, not unlike my current real-life arrangement though this bedding is awful: cheap synthetic navy. Dad goes for a run and I settle in to watch a movie. An alt-universe Lethal Weapon is playing with Bette Middler as the lethal weapon.

It’s more enjoyable than any other offering in the franchise.

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