‘Pearl’: Mia Goth should get an Oscar for terrifying role

Spoiler Alert: “The Whole Plot”Pearl“and” X “will be discussed in this article.

Who knew the church dance tryout would result in one of the strongest movie monologues of the year?

Such is the case with Ty West’s twisty, hallucinatory nod to the Technicolor-era film “Pearl.” It is a prequel to this year’s porn slasher “X”, in which mia gotho An aspiring XXX actress as well as a makeup-laden, almost unrecognizable elderly woman named Pearl who killed most of the film crew living on her farm. In the latest film, Goth plays Pearl’s third role as a young woman.

The origin story of this serial killer finds Pearl trapped on her family’s farm in 1918, with her husband Howard fighting in the War in a world away from Texas, forcing her to work for her strict German immigrant mother and invalid father. fell. Dreaming of a life dancing on the silver screen, she is soon scolded by her mother, her projectionist lover and her father after “mercifully murdering” her, who would be dead-weight on her journey to film stardom. She soon commits suicide.

Pearl is invited to a dance audition at the church by her sister-in-law Mitsy (Emma Jenkins-Puro) and, despite giving a scintillating performance, is rejected by the judges as they look for a fresh-faced blonde dancer. Huh. In an effort to calm a distraught Pearl, Mitsy takes her home and invites her to practice what she’d tell Howard to make her feel better, launching one of the best scenes of 2022, in which Also included is a nine-minute monologue from Goth. Results in an acting masterclass.

“I hate you so much for leaving me here, sometimes I hope you die,” Pearl begins sharply, lost in the imagination of talking to her soldier husband. “I’m sorry, I feel bad admitting this, but it’s true.” The film stings audiences more than the first Pearl’s axe, ringing with the untold honesty of a woman experiencing loneliness and depression while her husband is around the world, his fate unknown.

“I wish things could go back as they were before, but I don’t see how they can, not after the things I’ve done,” he continues to an increasingly unsteady Mitsy.

Pearl proceeds nonchalantly and frankly about her miscarriage (“I never wanted to be a mother. I hated the feeling of growing up inside it, it felt like a disease… when it died I So relieved”), infidelity and murderous rage.

With the camera closing in on her face in closeup, the audience is constantly thinking of Mitsy on the other side of the table, forced to maintain a straight face while listening to these taboo proclamations. As Pearl wraps up, lamenting that she’ll probably be stuck on the farm forever, she gives her fragmented mission statement: “I really want to make love. I’ve been having such a hard time without it lately. As Pearl bows her head, exhausted and silent, Mitsi has a chance to leave the room, but gets caught up in one last conversation, as the other shoe falls off and Pearl tries to get her sister-in-law to get a dance part. Congratulations on.

Although Mitsi denies this, Pearl urges her golden cousin to acknowledge her success and even says “I am happy for you.” The Goth releases the tension, seemingly coming down to earth to find despair in the situation but not blaming his family. But after reflecting on it, Pearl grits her teeth and mumbles, “You always get what you want,” and it’s clear that poor Mitsy will never make it to the stage.

Reminds me of visual tension Inauguration Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 film “Inglourious Bastards”, in which Nazi Hans Landa (Christophe Waltz) has a lengthy discussion with farmer Perrier Lapadite (Denis Menochet), during which both sides – and the audience – become increasingly certain that a Jewish family is hidden. floors of the house, and things will not end in peace. That scene became one of the film’s most memorable scenes, and started the buzz for Waltz’s first Academy Award.

During the start of his monologue, Pearl lamented, “The truth is I’m not really a good person.” While it’s easy to pigeonhole a movie star who wields an ax like this, the reality is much messier. He’s a broken man, a loved one, a lonely man at a time in American history where women had to be the supporting rock back home. Goth takes on the role of an abused woman over time, who wears away the edges of her personality, hopes and desires.

It’s easy to think that Pearl might find a similar sentiment in the heroine of Chantal Ackerman’s 1975 film “Jean Dielman, 23 quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.” In that landmark feminist work, Jean lives out of mundane days working and gets through unsatisfactory sex work, leading to a tragic ending where an unexpected climax leads her to murder John. The tragic ending of all the pulsations of the mundane, the domestic and the sensual lights up both the works.

The shocking final scene of “Pearl” — Howard arrives home at a dinner table full of Pearl’s victims, his wife eager to greet him — follows a minute-long unbroken shot of Goth smiling ear-to-ear. ends with, every muscle in his face stretched to exaggeration, tears occasionally breaking out as his eyes gaze down the barrel of the camera. It’s a scene that coincides with Pearl’s inevitable fate in the decades before “X”: Trapped in the Technicolor nightmare of her Texas farm, tears resist a grin to divert attention. (Another parallel with “Gene Dielman”: Gene’s seven-minute unbroken take after stabbing his John, which ends the film.)

Despite the uproar among fans and even a co-signed From Martin Scorsese (“I was thrilled, then upset, then so unsteady I had trouble sleeping. But I couldn’t stop watching.”), “Pearl” set to be overlooked as a serious acting performance Is. Horror has always been overlooked when it comes to the focus of the awards. Some of the last decade’s most indelible performances have been marginalized only because of style: Florence Pugh in “Midsummer”, Lupita Nyong’o in “Us”, Toni Collette in “Hereditary”, Anya Taylor-Joy in “The Witch.”

Yet Goth flexes every muscle during the film, redeeming moments both absurd and honest. There’s a comical cadence right around the corner for every shattered monologue, or simply a shocking scene of Pearl skipping along with a bloody ax wielding. And while the acting categories will inevitably be filled with tear-jerking performances about the pain of growing up or the sadness of losing a family member, how many roles accidentally get too many and dry a scarecrow for intercourse. Are? Oscar voters should step back from this limit.

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