By Lisette Prendé
“She knows she’s being filmed!” I used to yell in frustration at the screen. “She’s not acting! She’s trying to make a pretty face for the camera!”
After too many appearances from ‘the face’ I made an all-out ban on Keira Knightley. There would be no pretty pouting in place of real acting! Oh no!
It was years before I gave her another chance. My mother came over from Melbourne and was raving about a film. “It’s so good I’d watch it a second time! We should go to the movies to see it!"
After I asked who was in it she went quiet. Then, defensively, she spoke. “Now, before you disregard it, I just want to say that she’s actually very good in it.”
I narrowed my eyes. “It’s got her in it doesn’t it?” I couldn’t believe it. My own mother, a traitor.
After much deliberation I agreed to give Ms Knightley a second chance. After all, people change. Occasionally.
Off we headed to see Begin Again, a truly charming film starring Ben Ruffalo and a brunette and very natural Keira Knightley. I could not believe my eyes. Not only was ‘The Face’ AWOL during the whole film but in its wake had emerged a new, honest and gorgeously imperfect performer. There was no pouting at all and plenty of real facial expressions that showed no signs of being farced. And on top of it all, singing. Yes! Beautiful, folk like singing, worthy of a comparison to Joni Mitchell. I could not believe it. Could it be, was Keira Knightley about to become my new favourite actress?
I left the cinema doubting everything I thought I knew about the world. What if all along ‘the face’ had not been her fault? What if she had been told to make it? Perhaps now, this Keira Knightley was the real Keira Knightley.
Written by Andrea Seigel and directed by Lynn Shelton, Laggies tells the story of Megan (Knightley), a 28 year old, university educated, slacker who still hasn’t quite figured out what she wants to do with her life. She’s still with her high-school sweetheart and she’s still friends with her high-school friends but is it all really by choice, or by default?
It’s not until Megan is suddenly forced to make some serious decisions that she finally starts to assess her life as it is. She meets the much younger Annika (Moretz) and in an attempt to delay making said decisions, befriends her. The two strike up an unlikely yet amiable friendship, much to the confusion of Annika’s father (Rockwell).
Laggies is a great film. A hilarious dark comedy, light hearted in delivery but rich and even heavy in depth of concept. There’s plenty of messages and quick one-liners that pack a good punch but are weighted and poignant in retrospect. And of course Keira Knightley is on form with not one millisecond of ‘The Face’ in attendance!