August 22, 2008

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Greetings Gentle Readers,

I don’t remember where I first saw that written, but I have always loved it.  Calling a reader gentle feels so kind and inviting, like home.  When I think about it, this isn’t far from the truth.  In this space, we are all Under a Red Roof.

Anyway, welcome to my very first formal category: Spotlighting.  Each Friday, I will focus on some aspect of film-making, books and reading, or music.  I might tell you about a movie (or, like today, an actor), a book that I love, or the soundtrack playing in my head.  I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts about topics that really get me jazzed.  I hope you enjoy it, too.




The first time I saw Lee Pace was on one of my all-time favorite television shows to not get a chance – Wonderfalls.  He played Jaye Tyler’s underachieving big brother Aaron.  Despite being a “genius,” he lived with his parents, had no job, and a penchant for dirty movies.  I liked his interactions with Jaye and the rest of the family, and found the character and the acting very authentic.

Since Wonderfalls, I’ve seen Mr. Pace in a host of other roles, representing a marvelously broad range of characters.  He was rather creepy in Infamous, the second film about Truman Capote and his quest to write In Cold Blood.  I recoiled every time his slimy murderer with scarcely a hit of remorse came on screen.  In another film I saw with my movie buddy Bridget, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, he played the loyal and dedicated ex-boyfriend Michael Pardue.  He’s the one who really loves the heroine Delysia Lafosse – plays no games, but does tickle the ivories and sing.  He’s the one I’d want, too.

In another television series, which appears to have a chance – Pushing Daisies, he is Ned, the handsome and charming Piemaker, the man who can bring the dead back to life with a touch, but sadly, only once, or they are dead again.  The show and his character are a little old fashioned (a Lincoln Continental with suicide doors! The height of coolness and sophistication, my friends), yet have a modern edge, with a streak of mischievousness and sentimentality – a bit like this writer.

Perhaps it was the magic of that evening, but until I saw him in The Fall last week, I did not take him very seriously.  Yes, I thought he was fine and his work true, but that is all.  Were it not for his great skill in this film, I would only have seen Lee Pace, the guy from those other things I like.  Instead, I watched the broken Roy suffer through his losses, retreat into utter darkness and despair, and come out hopeful and willing to see the world with new eyes (and me to see this actor with new ones as well). 

Well done, Mr. Pace, and thank you for a magical time at the movies.

p.s. You look great in eye-liner.