Icons and Expectations

He'd kill for a cigarette, thoughWhile we wait for my MSN DVD column to go up, take a moment to read Glenn Kenny’s excellent blog post about the invented media kerfuffle over Sean Penn’s comments on “The Tree of Life” — in which what seems to have been a thoughtful discussion of Terrence Malick’s ultimate unknowability was spun into an attack on both the filmmaker and the actor by writers trying to fit a difficult film (and, sure, a difficult actor) into a conventional, convenient narrative.

See, they don’t understand Sean Penn’s role in “The Tree of Life”, so they have to convince us that Sean Penn didn’t understand it either. But I’m pretty sure he does.

Kenny then segues into a discussion about movie-star acting — which is to say, movies that use movie stars for their history as well as their acting ability — that’s also quite interesting. And don’t forget to read the comments.