Cronenberg’s Spider

Over the week­end, I saw David Cronenberg’s new Film Spi­der with Tbone, who wrote a review. One thing I’d like to com­ment on, are Miranda Richardson’s sev­eral excep­tion­ally note­wor­thy per­for­mances, as both Fiennes’ Mother and Stepmother.

The first char­ac­ter is a model of 1950s restraint and beauty, duti­fully prepar­ing din­ner for her fam­ily and accom­pa­ny­ing her hus­band to the Pub, though she’d rather be at home. This is the boy’s (Fiennes) ide­al­ized vision of his Mother. Richard­son plays the role much like Julianne Moore did in Far From Heaven. As an audi­ence mem­ber, you can’t hardly resist her virtue.

The sec­ond char­ac­ter, is a trashy pub-girl that Fiennes’ father picks up for a lit­tle action, and even­tu­ally becomes the boy’s Step-mom. Wear­ing a leop­ard print coat, and stained teeth, this char­ac­ter casu­ally gives a hand­job to the boy’s Father under an over­pass. She encour­ages the mur­der of the boy’s Mom, and becomes the object of the boy’s vin­dic­tive inten­tions later in the film.

In addi­tion, she also steps into the role of the half-way house-master, where she tor­ments Fiennes.

What is truly incred­i­ble, watch­ing Richard­son, is that you really aren’t sure if it’s the same actress. They are so dif­fer­ent in appear­ance and behav­ior, that the screen­writer and Cro­nen­berg must’ve been jump­ing for joy.

It’s a creepy film, about a creepy guy. But, while Ralph Fiennes is mum­bling into a jour­nal for an hour, I think Miranda Richard­son deserves the credit for hold­ing it all together.

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