Giles Coren on the New James Bond <spoilers>

(49 Posts)
StewieGriffinsMom Thu 01-Nov-12 20:14:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BelaLugosisShed Thu 01-Nov-12 20:24:39

I enjoyed the film, exept for that scene, where Bond steps into the shower to have sex with a woman he knows was sold into sexual slavery at age 12.
There was absolutely no need for that scene at all, it's only seconds long and serves no purpose whatsoever.
It would had been far more powerful for him to simply hold her hand or something, I found the scene pretty harrowing, she looked scared and upset, not turned on when Bond was kissing her neck. Her "execution" was very brutal too.

PosieParker Thu 01-Nov-12 21:03:24

Thanks for posting Stewie. One of my friends who is film crazy is currently writing a book about strong female role models (he's on my fb timeline) I would love your thoughts on it when it's done.

TeiTetua Thu 01-Nov-12 21:10:25

Wow. You can't totally give up on men after reading that.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 01-Nov-12 21:19:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PosieParker Thu 01-Nov-12 21:23:55

I hadn't twigged that she was a sex worker or sold to the guy, I think I must have made a dash for the loo or somethingblush. But I just remember thinking why would he just walk in the shower? confused

ConsiderCasey Thu 01-Nov-12 21:37:24

Oh god, reading that blog depressed me. DS really wants me to take him to see it because ALL his friends have seen it and he feels left out. But based on that review it sounds awful. Nothing like peer pressure to make you feel like a bad mother.

OhBuggerandArse Thu 01-Nov-12 21:38:42

Thank you for posting that.

BelaLugosisShed Thu 01-Nov-12 21:42:49

In a casino scene, Bond picked up on the "ownership" tattoo on her wrist, that was when she told him she was 12 when sold to a gang. She was practically crying in the shower when he got in behind her, it was a very odd and disturbing scene.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 01-Nov-12 21:47:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

iklboo Thu 01-Nov-12 21:51:26

It was all so depressing.

Female agent can't drive or shoot for toffee, gives up fieldwork to become a secretary.

Strong, independent female lead gets the chop & is replaced by ageing male.

Sex trafficking victim used as wet wank (in more ways than one) and then is brutally killed in an off the cuff manner complete with cheap joke.

Head of Inquiry is Delores Umbridge wannabe who gets put in her place by ageing male.

Man who looks like face drawn on Sid James's left bollock & walks like an upright chimp lauded as hero / sex god.


MoreBeta Thu 01-Nov-12 21:59:43

I went to see it today with DSs age 10 and 12. Overall I thought it a good and thoughtful film with a lot more depth than usual. The particular scene you are talking about I too did think odd, out of place and not at all necessary. In fact, I didnt understand why she got shot. There seemed to be a big jump in the story there.

On the plus side though, I thought the amount of usual sexism with women as just bodies there to add glamour as 'Bond Girls' was a lot less than usual with strong women characters in the form of 'M' and the New Miss Moneypenny.

BelaLugosisShed Thu 01-Nov-12 22:02:27

I don't view Craig's Bond as a hero/sex god, I see him as a deeply troubled and flawed man, not at all attractive.
I had to laugh at the Delores Umbridge comparison.

iklboo Thu 01-Nov-12 22:06:58

Bela I agree.

ConsiderCasey Thu 01-Nov-12 22:21:41

He's a hero in that he is the protagonist and the highest paid part.

MooncupGoddess Thu 01-Nov-12 23:04:37

Christ -for years I have avoided everything Giles Coren has written on the grounds that when I first encountered his journalism many years ago he was a smug and intermittently sexist twat. Clearly he has changed very significantly for the better!

NewNames Thu 01-Nov-12 23:18:22

Very good.

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Thu 01-Nov-12 23:25:08

Bloody hell I had no idea. I missed about 10 minutes of it as went to the foyer to complain about noisy twats, I had no idea that the woman who was shot has been sex trafficked. Bloody hell puts a different slant on it.

It was horrible the way she was killed, but what you say makes me feel uncomfortbale about this film which I enjoyed, but now wish I had seen fully.

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Thu 01-Nov-12 23:28:38

Good on Giles Coren.

And I really like Esther Walker's blog.

mignonette Fri 02-Nov-12 10:43:11

Yet another man who 'comforts' a woman by fucking her......

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 02-Nov-12 14:41:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 02-Nov-12 14:42:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 02-Nov-12 15:10:14

"There was absolutely no need for that scene at all, it's only seconds long and serves no purpose whatsoever"

See I think it does serve a purpose.

It normalises rape.

A lot of men are rapists. An awful lot more of them aren't rapists but they are quite rapey and they support rapists without admitting or acknowledging and in some cases even realising that that's what they do.

This scene reassures them that it's all right. If even hero Bond does it, it's not that bad, is it? And it's not "real" rape - she's not a "real" victim - after all, she's damaged goods already, so it doesn't count.

This scene reinforces rape culture. That is its purpose.

mignonette Fri 02-Nov-12 15:15:32

My 18 yr old son was desperate to see this film. He has read Coren's article, read posts here and is going to see' Beasts of the Southern Wild' instead.

He said "how can we make an informed decision where to spend our money if we are not told about these things"

So thank you StewieGriffinsmum

YoullScreamAboutItOneDay Fri 02-Nov-12 15:17:03

God. I always found Giles sort of mildly amusing but maybe a bit smug and dismissive of people. Liked him on those things with Sue Perkins but less keen on his restaurant reviews. His column this Saturday (the one he clearly had to dash off to replace this one) about all weddings being vulgar was one of the examples of the type of writing he does that I like least.

I feel like I totally have to reassess him. That is a brilliant article and shame on the Times for not printing it.

Interesting that he ended this week's column with this:

"That said, I do have some sympathy with Clark’s [Clark Kent of superman] behaviour. I was myself 27 the first time I stormed out of The Times for ever, fed up with taking orders and convinced I was the most powerful man on the planet. I later stormed out of The Mail on Sunday, Tatler and The Independent, then went back to The Times, then stormed out. Then came back here ten years ago and have not stormed out since. Except a couple of times, when I didn’t really mean it.

So let me take this story down a peg or two, from the inside, by pointing out that it may not necessarily be about the death of newspapers, or the relevance of superheroes in the age of the internet, or the hubris of a young space alien at odds with a dumbed down media.

It may just be that after 74 years, Clark Kent has finally worked out what it takes to get a pay rise in this business."

In the light of the blog, it sounds a bit like a subtle dig of the 'if I were younger and had more energy I would storm out over this' ilk.

It is so depressing that I hadn't even seen this viewpoint in mainstream media. I have small children and am not likely to see Skyfall at the cinema (if I am shelling out for a babysitter, I want something better than a film I can wait for on DVD!). All the reviews were about how amazing the film was. Even Mark Kermode, who I usually find quite good on misogyny, didn't pick up on it (at least in the section of review I heard).

Good on Giles. And good on Esther for highlighting it.

TheLightPassenger Fri 02-Nov-12 15:21:57

thanks for posting SGM, that's certainly raised my opinion of Giles Coren, what a well thought out sensitive piece.

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 02-Nov-12 15:23:55

Did literally none of the mainstream reviews take issue with this? None of them?

MrsVincentPrice Fri 02-Nov-12 16:05:08

I think that he's completely right about the woman who gets shot, but completely wrong about M, and I tend to disagree about Moneypenny because I see it as "what can we do to make Moneypenny more interesting, powerful and real?" rather than "what shall we do with this feisty female field officer?" but YMMV.

I'd have been completely happy with the film if it hadn't been for the sex slave character - that entire chunk of plot was a terrible error of judgement and should have been excised. And I'll be judging the next film on whether they have a strong balancing female character (like Jinx in DAD except less unconscious during the finale) to break up the (admittedly attractive) boys club of Craig, Fiennes, Whishaw and Kinnear.

YoullScreamAboutItOneDay Fri 02-Nov-12 16:39:38

From a quick Google:

Sunday Times doesn't -

Nor Empire -

Total film has it as a steamy shower clinch with a femme fatale -

Can't see anything in the Observer review :

TunipTheHollowVegemalLantern Fri 02-Nov-12 16:48:26

Well done Giles.

PanonHigh Fri 02-Nov-12 22:24:55

< small diversion>
SGM - I tried to PM you, cued on a suggestion of HQ, but an error occurs. You may receive a message from HQ about this. Nothing dramatic!
< end of small diversion>

seeker Fri 02-Nov-12 22:29:35

I posted about this on Chat earlier today. Responses were mixed- a majority ( I think) agreeing with GC- but a significant minority who saw nothing wrong, it was just Bond,loads of men were killed and, one of my favourites- the person who got the M job should be the best person for the job, regardless of gender.

seeker Fri 02-Nov-12 22:35:57

I am deeply depressed that The Macallan wanted its product at the centre of that scene.

seeker Fri 02-Nov-12 22:42:01

"On the plus side though, I thought the amount of usual sexism with women as just bodies there to add glamour as 'Bond Girls' was a lot less than usual with strong women characters in the form of 'M' and the New Miss Moneypenny."

hmm. Strong female characters- one of whom made a mistake and then dcided she wasn't cut out for life in the field and takes a job as M's secretary. And another one who makes a mistake and has to be whisked away to safety by men and looked after by men. And is less competent, useful and able to look after herself than a nonagenarian comedy Scotsman.

PanonHigh Fri 02-Nov-12 22:43:00

Yes, me and two male friends saw it on Saturday, and were a pretty meh about the film, as a film, and all of us queried the execution scene. Utterly pointless and really unpleasant 'joke' about it being a waste of good Scotch in particular. I'd posted something in Movies section about the film in general, but avoided a comment about the misogeny. But it took the "Bond brand" to a new poor level.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 02-Nov-12 23:19:47

You mean I have to revise my Giles Coren opinion upwards from bedrock?

Damn you, Stewie grin

PanonHigh Fri 02-Nov-12 23:42:26

Well, I'm not so sure.....does GC have an agenda? <conspiracy> We don't know where the "because The Times were too cowardly" line comes from. Is it a London-media- centric-gossipy-mc-male posturing agenda?

Me and my buddies in a small, unregarded, northern Peninne spot didn't need St Giles to feel pretty uncomfortable about the whole thing. (one buddy is a very macho rope-access worker, the other friend with a severe borderline personality disorder). I boaked a bit at the 'shamed to be a male' or some such...I thought he was trying a bit too much at playing to the gallery. fwiw.

sommewhereelse Sat 03-Nov-12 06:55:56

We were discussing this last night, all shocked about the woman dying, but the point was raised that the joke about the scotch comes just before an unarmed Bond starts fighting the other men some of whom are armed.

I'm pretty bad at remembering detail of films but isn't that a James Bond thing? Making a joke to get the others off their guard then attack. Bond's enemies thought it was funny, but I don't think we were supposed or to think that Bond did. No one in the cineam laughed (but that might have been a language thing, most of the people in the audience weren't watching it in their mother tongue)

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 03-Nov-12 08:51:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

legoballoon Sat 03-Nov-12 09:06:43

Bond films have always been sexist and xenophobic. Women always got shagged and shot, baddies always had dodgy accents.

I watched it with my tongue firmly in my cheek, thought Daniel Craig looked delicious, baulked at Bardem's dentures, gawped at some of the stunts, and yes - was very disappointed (but not altogether surprised) to see that the courageous and (I thought) pretty unflappable female spy opted for a desk job in a skin-tight dress in the final scenes.

By the end of the film, middle class, white men are back in the top jobs - which is what the makers of the film meant when the marketed the film as a 'return to classic Bond'. Let's face it, the 'values' of a Bond book or film are repellent and twisted (like so many mainstream cultural products).

mignonette Sat 03-Nov-12 09:18:07

Went with DS to see 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' (which is one of the most visually stunning and beautifully acted films I've ever seen). The cinema staff commented how good it was to see people not coming to see Bond.

Showed them the GC piece on my phone which served to bolster the staff's own perception of the film as misogynistic/ugly product placement/pandering to lowest common denominator....

skrumle Sat 03-Nov-12 09:50:08

i went last night and found the whole film dull, ridiculous and up-its-own-arse.

i actually feel asleep at one point so missed the woman getting shot, but found the shower scene awful - it was like a rape scene, her lip-biting, etc looked a lot more like fear than excitment especially given the back story that had just been highlighted. it was actually my husband's first comment as we were leaving the cinema - what's with him shagging a virtual stranger that he knew was sold into sex slavery as a child?

mignonette Sat 03-Nov-12 09:50:53

Go see 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'. Skrumle.

See - I totally get all the arguments above - but I still don't think it is a film's JOB to be moral. It's a human's job - a film for all its influence is still, well - just a film.


FastidiaBlueberry Sat 03-Nov-12 22:55:18

No, of course it's not a film's job to be moral, it's a film's job to entertain (and enlighten if it wants to consider itself art, but that's another thread).

It's not obliged to entertain by promoting misogny though. Or racism, or anti-semitism or whatever.

I think it's valid to look at why the casual rape and death of women, is so often considered so entertaining.

seeker Sat 03-Nov-12 23:08:56

It's not a film's job to be moral- but it is a film maker's job to decide what to put in a film. And there was no need scenes we are discussing- particularly the sandrine schemes. They were just gratuitous.

Himalaya Fri 16-Nov-12 08:48:46

I agree that the subplot with the woman at the casino was nasty.

But I thought M and Moneypenny were both great, and I didn't read Moneypenny as becoming a secretary (how would that even work - from spy to administrator?). From the conversations they've had before it looks like she is becoming some kind of desk officer/advisor to the new M (Smiley to his Control...). There is a whole theme in the film about how the old bondish ways are being replaced by new technologies and office based people.

Furoshika Mon 19-Nov-12 12:51:49

Found this thread whilst searching for Victoria Coren's MN chat blush but am delighted to see that GC has written something anti-misogyny for once.

There were so many things wrong in the film that it actually makes you weep a little for humanity.

The shower scene was horrendous. I actually didn't make the connection between her past and the sheer cruelty of then getting into the shower with her: it just struck me as the kind of stupid male behaviour that has been glamourised for as long as I've ever known. She's naked, she was kind of expecting you anyway...why not turn this into an opportunity for sex? I know it's not meant to be reality, but seriously, if an essentially random man gets into the shower with you uninvited, in any context, this is a precursor to some form of rape/violence/assault.

Words fail me where her death is concerned and I do wonder what the fuck Macallan thought they were doing there. Here is a place to contact their PR team if you feel the need. I am considering a complaint to them. Personally I won't be buying their products again. (I did previously buy them regularly.)

The Moneypenny twist was just disappointing. She went from being a kick-ass field agent, his equal, to sitting at a desk outside M's office. The lack of imagination there is just depressing.

I will politely disagree about M, though. Judi Dench wanted to stop, I believe. (Sad though that is, as she was great, and her pithy ego-deflating comments will be missed. They were very necessary.) In the situation where the actor wants the part to end, they have to choose either a man or a woman to continue. Now, it would be amazing if they had the imagination to cast another woman. (They don't. They've set out their stall now with this 'return' to the old Bonds.) I don't necessarily think this was misogyny, in the way that the sex slave moll character's story was. Whichever way you see it, the whole Raplph Fiennes/Moneypenny aspect is going to make things very dull, though, and Judi Dench will be missed for more reasons than just being good in the part.

I don't think I'll see the next film. Daniel Craig is brilliant as Bond (IMO) but I'm not paying for this sort of shit again.

ShamyFarrahCooper Mon 19-Nov-12 16:10:30

Yes to Giles. Nail on the head. I cringed so hard at the shower scene. It was just awful. It's like 'I'll look after you, I'm much nicer than all the other blokes, look this isn't real rape' kinda stuff.

And I KNEW they would kill of M. And the MoneyPenny thing. Just angry

Although, we watched Arthur Christmas yesterday and DH - who had watched some of it previously warned me 'there are two REALLY sexist comments in this film.'
And he was right. There were. But I also love the fact HE picked up on them. grin

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