I met Rachel Weisz once, in 1995, on the location (just outside Siena) of Bernardo Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty. With the rest of the cast and crew she was hanging out somewhat languidly in the Tuscan villa that was the movie's chief location - waiting for the Muse of the Next Set-up to descend on Bernardo and his DoP. In particular, she was hanging out with Liv Tyler, with whom she seemed to have as nice a rapport as they were meant to have in the movie (where Weisz played the sexually experienced young female to Tyler's over-ripe virgin.) As in that movie, Tyler in the flesh looked marginally more like the Hollywood movie star (at least to my gauche eye), and Weisz slightly more like the smart/gifted product of a Hampstead upbringing and a Cambridge education. Ms Tyler has done very well since, of course, but Weisz has really shot the works, with Hollywood franchise hits and an Academy Award. Now, apparently, she's polled as the woman most Esquire readers would like to marry - which, based on her CV and that cover shot, is setting the bar rather high.
Oh yes, my film column this month is on the film of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, of which I say:
"Post-apocalypse movies tend to excel in the poignantly desecrated landmark, and ever since Planet of the Apes Hollywood has routinely knocked the head off the Statue of Liberty. The beauty of The Road lies in the melancholy of an abandoned freeway bridge, a mighty and improving work of mankind turned to a reproach now that civilisation has receded. Across that bridge Man and Boy trudge, toward a jack-knifed eighteen-wheel truck; and ‘round the decay of that colossal wreck’, as the poet wrote, desolation stretches far away..."