Thursday, 3 January 2013

Vronsky's Wife

"Should I be concerned that you are watching the Anna Karenina preview on youtube?" asked B.A.

"Noooooooooo," I said. "I am checking to see if I still think Vronsky's dye job is funny."

Vronsky's dye job is still pretty funny. Dear me, how I laughed in the cinema. There must have been hundreds, if not thousands, of book-loving women who sat on the edge of our seats dying to see what the new Vronsky would look like and then all shrieked with horror or amusement when we saw the pretty powder-blue uniform, the deep blue contact lenses (I suspect) and the curly blonde hair. Someone please tell someone that women are not gay men.

I understand that the idea must have been to contrast Keira Knightley's dark eyes and hair with the blonde and blue-eyed looks of a made-over Aar*n Johns*n, and although in general I approve the aesthetic vision of the film, I think that was a pity--unless the whole idea was to make Anna's and Vronsky's mad passion somewhat ridiculous. I see that director Joe Wright is a married man. Hmm...

Out of curiosity, I next looked up Aar*n Johns*n to see what he really looks like, and he is a terribly good-looking, dark-haired young man of 22. He has also changed his name to Tayl*r-Johns*n since he married the mother of his children, a talented film director with an OBE. She is a striking blonde woman who was born in 1967.

"Holy cow," I said. Actually, I said something other than that, but I won't put it on my blog. I rechecked my arithmetic because, really, I am very bad at anything involving numbers, and Mrs Aar*n is still older than me.

Excuse me while I go stare in the looking-glass in the bathroom.

Okay, I am back. I am not too depressed. I had a good night's sleep and the miracle of Grandma's good genes blesses the skin of another generation. It is not beyond the limits of my own imagination that were I a talented divorced film director I could attract my...let's see now...2009...nineteen-year old star.

Nineteen! Nine-teen!

Excuse me while I go pour some Bailey's Irish Cream into my coffee. It's still Christmas, after all.


How did a nineteen year old convince a forty-two year old woman to enter a romantic relationship with him? I'm asking you because if I asked friends nearer my own age they would say, "That's disgusting. Why are we even talking about this? Let's pray a novena."

When I was nineteen, a six-foot-something blonde Bavarian-Canadian of fifteen used to lurk me around me at my summer job, and I was, like, "No, thank you." I am not sure why, as he was really cute, and I would not have contemplated anything immoral or illegal, so I think it must have been convention. And it's not like he tried that hard, so actually there may have been some good sense involved, too. Adolescents are so volatile. Tattoo that to your brains.

Could it have been because Aar*n was playing a teenage John Lennon at the time? John Lennon was born in 1940, but surely that would have made the real John Lennon too old for a woman born in 1967? On the other hand, as she was 42, I would say no. After you are 40 there really isn't any such thing as "too old" for you if you love the person. But when you are under 30...

I suppose isn't any of our business, and we wouldn't know about the marriage if the married couple were not in the Arts, and people in the Arts are different from you and me, unless we are in the Arts, which I sort of am, in my small way. And so I know that one of the big questions that governs the Arts is "Why not?"

However, one answer to this is that although in the Middle Ages seven was considered the age of reason and teenagers were considered adults, in the 21st century most nineteen year olds in the West, despite having the rights to drink and vote and drive, are still children. Women are supposed to guide and protect children, not get involved with them. However, once a man has children, he is no longer a child, and the married man under this scrutiny now has two, so I will shut up...

...after I observe that quite obviously life does not end at 42. Whoo!


Eliz... said...

The actor's dye-job made him look like a tart in my opinion. A poncy, slippery tart. I couldn't stand Vronsky and the hair gave me even more reason. I think I might be saying the hair worked for his character.

I am in my 40s and I have a "range" for how much older and how much younger I would consider. I would never say never but I don't know if I could be convinced it would be a good thing. I think I would be asking "don't you want babies? And if you don't, why not"?

Seraphic said...

The cherry on the cake of this story is that after they got together, she got pregnant very soon (at age 42) and then got pregnant again after their first baby was born (so I think we're talking 44 here), and is now a happily twice-married mother of four.

So it's not over until it's over, obviously.

I see your point about the hair working for Vronsky's character. I must add that his mother is on my list of Wicked Older Women. And what a pair they are! Eventually I will compile a list of Wicked Older Women.

Urszula said...

I actually rather liked Vronsky in this movie, although I have to admit I was expecting someone more, hm, manly to play the part, especially after reading the book. I was more disappointed with Karenin's depiction as I felt the book made him a more conflicted and thus more human person, whereas the movie turned him into a sort of cardboard, dry figure that any woman would run away from (even into a blonde Vronsky's arms...)

Also, just out of curiosity, why did you assume the nineteen-year old convinced the forty-two year old to enter into a romantic relationship? Couldn't it possibly have been the opposite?

Seraphic said...

Yes, but I made the most charitable assumption. And it turns out to be true, although it would also seem that they both feel for each other as soon as they clapped eyes on each other, and adopted a hands-off policy until filming of their project was done.

I hope they will continue to be very happy. Do I wish I were a talented artist with an OBE, four children and the ability to pull 19 year old hotties? Well, mostly, although 19 really is too young. Teenage boys--blah. Uncooked dough.