I’ve come to the conclusion that Maggie Gyllenhaal may be the sexiest woman on the planet (well, apart from a couple of my readers, though I’m not naming names. Just assume it’s you).
Now, I sort of had this feeling after seeing Secretary, as I’ve discussed at length with the lovely Miss Syl. I mean, it’s a great film, and she’s impossibly sexy in it (I could watch some of those scenes of her getting spanked over and over, and in fact have, in my head at least). But the whole film’s brilliantly sexy, with that pervasive feeling that makes one want to go home and grab someone (or oneself) and have many orgasms.
But y’know, one film, you can’t always judge. I mean, Melanie Griffith was a contender (who am I kidding, she owned it), for like six months after Something Wild came out, But by the time she’d made Working Girl that was well over and it proved that sexy as fuck in one film doesn’t mean much when the film’s over (and don’t get me started on Ms. Griffith now – *shudder*).
So the other day I watched Stranger Than Fiction. And that cemented Maggie’s place on that ‘sexiest women’ list.
Now, that may be a strange movie to do that. It’s not a particularly sexy movie. It’s a very good movie – with a surprisingly good dramatic performance by Will Ferrell (and you know, I think he can do still better), a great performance by Emma Thompson, and an incredibly clever script. But even with a vaguely romantic element, there’s no sex to speak of. This could not be more opposite Secretary, which radiated sex.
But from the moment she turned up on screen, sweaty, frazzled, angry and tattooed, I wanted her. I didn’t even remember she was in the movie, so my reaction went something like wow, she’s kinda hot – whoa is that Maggie Gyllenhaal?
The thing that makes her so damned sexy in this movie is that they in no way set out to make her sexy. They just presented a character, as they did with other characters in the film. She’s a vaguely eccentric, vaguely emo sort of craftsperson; educated, but working in a simple, honest profession as a baker. But being that kind of character, she wants to make a grand, if silly, political statement (silly in that she can’t win, not silly in intent, who doesn’t agree with the idea of withholding taxes that go to pay for idiotic wars? Well, idiots, I guess.) She reminded me of a number of people I know; artists, writers (and some bloggers I know.) And she was the kind of character I like to write about. She has that I just am who I am kind of sexy.
And then there’s the tattoos.
I have to say, Maggie’s tattoos in Stranger Than Fiction are some of the best fake tattoos I’ve seen in a movie in a long time. The typical mistake is to make them too perfect, too bright, too dark. They’re almost always over-done, and usually, not done with the right sort of aesthetic. They may look real to the typical viewer, but to those of us who have and know tattoos, most movie tattoos look a bit suspect. The Tattoos in this movie look exactly right; the japanese half-sleeve on her right arm has exactly the look and feel of a tattoo this character would have, and it’s done the way it really would be, not quite wrapping all the way around in back, leaving the area around the armpit bare. It was so convincing I actually wondered it it was real.
The one that really got me though – and damn if i can find a picture of it – was the star on her neck. Now, again, the temptation would have been to give her some big, splashy, obvious thing, and to have made it perfect. But that’s not what this character would have had. The tattoo, a black star on the right side of her neck, an inch or two below her ear, was sort of ordinary. It was small – maybe the size of a nickel – and best of all, it was sort of crooked. It was that, more than anything, that made me fall for the character, and by extension, for the performer. Because she looked like, was, the sort of character who’d have a weird, imperfect tattoo on her neck.
I spent the whole movie wanting to kiss and bite this little star tattoo. It was absolutely distracting when I could see it, and when I couldn’t, I kept wanting her to turn around so I could see it. And while I loved the movie (it’s incredibly clever and well written), I spent the next two days with a naked, tattooed Maggie Gyllenhaal in my head.
I think I need to go find every other movie she’s ever been in, particularly the ones where she’s naked. Mmmm. Naaaaaked….