Charlotte Rampling: The Look

Charlotte Rampling

One of my favorite working actors is the beguiling Charlotte Rampling and I recently got the opportunity to watch Angelina Maccarone’s new film, CHARLOTTE RAMPLING: THE LOOK (2011). THE LOOK is an atypical documentary and Rampling reveals very little about her past but she does talk a lot about the fine art of acting and (indirectly) how it has informed all aspects of her life. Rampling’s a natural beauty who hasn’t had any plastic surgery and at age 66 she’s still stunning. In a business where women are often forced to retire at age 40, Rampling is somewhat of an anomaly and I can’t begin to express how refreshing it was to see an actress of her caliber talk openly about the pitfalls of cosmetic surgery, the ups and downs of aging and her craft. I reviewed the documentary for TCM’s Movie Morlocks this week and here’s a brief outtake from my post:

“The actress avoids talking directly about her personal life and focuses on her work and thought process instead, which I deeply appreciated. While some critics have complained about the film’s lack of focus and Rampling’s aloofness, I found THE LOOK to be an insightful examination of her creative abilities, which interests me much more than vague reminiscences about her love life and childhood traumas. And it’s the acting, along with the need to carefully break down and reassemble human emotions, that clearly concerns Rampling the most. She’s a consummate performer and that’s plainly apparent if you’ve seen her work but it becomes crystallized in this absorbing documentary. Rampling spends the entirety of the film discussing the importance of being present in the moment (“Withdrawing won’t protect you.”), being a good listener (“Let them feel that you want to get to know them and want to hear their story, it’s the incredible gift you give them.”) and suggesting that we can find strength in the painful experiences of the past (“The best remedy for any form of pain is to let it happen to you.”) while stressing the need for spontaneity (“You don’t prepare for life. Life happens.”) These are all critically important lessons for any actor and that’s really what THE LOOK conveys. It’s an indirect rumination on the acting process and ambiguously relays how we can all benefit from the skills that great actors have at their disposal.”

You can find my full review at the Movie Morlocks:
Charlotte Rampling: The Look @ TCM’s Movie Morlocks

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