Monday, January 4, 2010

The Heart of Attraction

I'm alone again, watching The Governess, with Tom Wilkinson and Minnie Driver. This is probably a bad idea for several reasons. One, I'll never leave my husband alone with another nanny or au pair again, particularly if he starts buying photography equipment. And two, I get way too into a movie that captures the heart of attraction.

It's a simple story and actually starts off a little slow. He is a frustrated photographer, experimenting with techniques. Minnie is hired as a governess. His wife is stiff and plain; his children can be trying. In addition to taking care of his children, the governess takes time to help him with his photography; over time, you can feel them fighting the attraction, based on a shared interest in photography, which culminates when she poses for a simple portrait for him.

He takes her virginity; they have several more trysts, but all intertwined with photography sessions where they explore capturing human beauty, both of them fascinated with each other and their work together. She falls in love, but he scorns her, eventually; he claims she consumes him, and he can't be consumed.

He seduces her by being himself; in her innocence, she loves him with all she has and knows. He breaks her heart in multiple small ways, causing her to leave, but not before she lashes out, leaving his wife with a nude photo of him she took. Near the end of the movie, after much time has elapsed, he arrives in her portrait studio, presumably for a sitting.

"Are we done?" he asks, as he sits, still, for his photo, his voice almost hopeful.

"Yes," she says, her eyes wavering, a small quiver in her mouth. "Yes, I think so. Quite done."

His disappointment is heavy and obvious, but she turns, and walks away, her resolve stronger than her desire.

Leaving me wanting more.

God I hate romantic stories with heartbreak and passion. I mean, I love them. I mean, I hate them.

When is the next one on?

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

1 comment:

DrChako said...

I'll assume the missing word is "husband." It's okay - I'm used to being left out.

I was going to say that you never have to worry about me because I'm too dense to notice, but it sounds like your hero was the same way.

It's a good thing I'm terrified of young Brazilian women.

-The Husband

PS. Verification word? concel