Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Princess of the Day

I love Downton Abbey. Oh yes. I am a sucker for a period drama, especially one shown on Masterpiece Theater. I love everything about this show--the comforting opening music, the intro by Laura Linney, the costumes, the total escape from my day to day responsibilities.  I don't care whether the show upholds my liberal values or what comment it is making on the class system. I just love the characters. When will Lady Mary and Cousin Matthew finally get together? What about Mr. Bates and Anna? I can't wait until next week.

And let me just say that I think some aspects of the life of Edwardian nobility would have suited me just fine. (I'm conveniently disregarding the inequalities of the era.)  Go ahead and judge me. I deserve my silly fantasies. At this moment my son is downstairs demanding I fix him some toaster waffles; would that I could have the kitchen staff see to it. Meanwhile, my hair, outfit and unmade bed could use the attention of a good lady's maid. Preferably one who won't injure me by leaving a bit of soap on the bathroom floor.

I especially am fond of Elizabeth McGovern, who plays Lady Cora. I don't remember seeing her in a movie since 1984 (Racing with the Moon with Sean Penn, to whom she was engaged before he married Madonna). She's been in London acting and raising the kids she has with her husband, a British director. How refreshing (and European?) that her face appears untouched by a surgeon's scalpel. She is almost exactly the same age as me (she turned 50 in July) and actually looks it! I mean this as a compliment. Name one other 50-year-old actress who appears 50. McGovern is very pretty, of course, but actually believable as the mother of grown daughters. I searched the internet and found this quote from an article in The Evening Standard:

Of cosmetic surgery, she says firmly: “It's always confused me why women do it. And the other thing that no one quite says is even if you've got your face perfectly smooth, as soon as you bring your hands up, or reveal your neck, the game's up. It's like two different people sewn on to the same frame."

1 comment:

  1. I have always admired Elizabeth McGovern's work, but this just made me fall in love with her. I recently had a conversation with a friend about Jamie Lee Curtis' refusal to wear makeup or dye her hair, and her response was "well, maybe if she did, she'd get more work." Sigh. I think the need for actresses to look 20 when they're actually 50 is a fairly recent phenomenon, but a disturbing one nonetheless. I know that Hollywood has always been about youth and beauty, but it used to be ok for actresses to age gracefully. I applaud Elizabeth McGovern for having such a sensible attitude, and for being so open about it. She's still so beautiful.