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Jennifer Ehle+Colin Firth - how the film industry has treated them...

(127 Posts)
Tensmumym Wed 29-Jul-15 13:40:42

Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth were famously in Pride and Prejudice as partners. I've just discovered that the 45 year old Jennifer played the mother of the 25 year old Dakota Johnson in the film Fifty Shades of Grey. here Meanwhile, the 54 year old Colin played as the love interest opposite the 26 year old Emma Stone. here

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WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Wed 29-Jul-15 21:00:24

The film industry is awful for propagating the whole women = past it as "romantic" leads at, what, 35 or so? While men are allowed to continue in lead roles for decades and the presentation of really huge age gaps in this direction as totally and utterly normal. Or COURSE very young women fancy wrinkly old men! Of course a man would never fancy a woman his own age once he's past about 25!


TV is a bit better for this even US stuff (I say that as this is a Hollywood speciality isn't it).

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Wed 29-Jul-15 21:01:45

Wasn't sure who some of the people were so started skimming one of the articles:

"Stone may not be the next Keaton, but she's certainly Allen's current muse"


WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Wed 29-Jul-15 21:03:07

"Of course, Allen has never been afraid to pitch his male characters with much younger female accomplices – right back to 1979's Manhattan, when he played a middle-aged divorcee dating a 17-year-old Mariel Hemingway. More recently, we've seen Larry David and Evan Rachel Wood get together in Whatever Works (despite the 40-year age gap), while Allen himself is married to Soon Yi-Previn, 37 years his junior."

Don't they mean "Soon-Yi Previn, his step-daughter, who he lived with in a family situation while she was a child"?

Tensmumym Wed 29-Jul-15 21:07:16

This video says it all really.

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thatstoast Wed 29-Jul-15 21:07:16

Well I do fancy Colin Firth but it's definitely an issue. There's a sketch of Amy Schumer does about an woman's last fuckable day.

Tensmumym Wed 29-Jul-15 21:09:14

Great minds thatstoast I think Colin Firth is partly to blame for accepting such roles with ridiculously inappropriate love interests.

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thatstoast Wed 29-Jul-15 21:20:47

But it's not ridiculously inappropriate if the movie going public buys into it, that's the problem really. And it's not just movies, people in general think it's fine that older men marry much younger. And those who don't think it's OK tend to object because the woman is presumed to be a goldigger. It's always the woman's fault basically. My personal hero is Sam Taylor-Wood grin

thatstoast Wed 29-Jul-15 21:22:18

Oops! I meant Sam Taylor-Johnson, of course.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Wed 29-Jul-15 21:27:53

I don't think they do though. I think many people raise an eyebrow at an age gap over 20 years or so even if the man is older. Older woman more than about 10 probably. And there's relative age as well which makes a difference.

And I would say, that society and the media feed each other, which is why it's so important to have responsible neutral media companies, and people get so concerned when in a location a lot of the media is controlled by a single group.

And when you've got woody allen, who is clearly a massive creepy bastard perve and has accusations of child molestation against him, putting aged men against very young women in his films, he's not doing it because society says OK he's doing it because that's what he likes, and people go and watch it because apparently he's a talented story teller.

Why men like him and Polanski get a "pass" for their behaviour is beyond me TBH.

Anyway I think it's more complicated than well the public go and watch it so they must think it's OK. Would people not go and see it if they put the 54yo man against a 45yo woman? A 45yo man against a 45yo woman? We don't know do we because they don't do it. And the reasons they don't do it are many and also obvious so I won't start listing them grin

thatstoast Wed 29-Jul-15 21:39:18

I do agree with you Whirlpool. I hope it didn't sound like I was defending people like Woody Allen and Polanski who are, in my mind, really creepy.

But it's not fair to expect Colin Firth to turn down work because he has to act opposite Emma Stone or similar. Although to be fair the last film I saw Colin Firth in was The King's Speech so the age gap in that was small.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Wed 29-Jul-15 21:43:48

lol no

I don't think it's up to individuals to fight this stuff either is it. I mean if they want to then great, but same as with anyone involved in things that might be a bit iffy for work, you do what you have to. And a huge Hollywood film directed by Woody Allen - I assume he still has the same draw that he always has had? - is a huge thing to turn down because of something that everyone else is doing anyway and the public don't seem to mind.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Wed 29-Jul-15 21:44:44

I mean unless the individual does something highly illegal or utterly repellant - and I don't think this falls into either of those categories really.

Tensmumym Wed 29-Jul-15 22:01:36

This is an interesting article on the age gaps between co-stars. I think leading stars do have some say as who their co-star is. Doesn't Colin Firth feel very strange starring opposite a girl the same age as his son? I think he has some form as he also starred in the obnoxious Kingsman.

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Tensmumym Wed 29-Jul-15 22:03:28

And I don't think all of the public does buy into the age inappropriate gaps. The more this is raised the more people will think how yucky it is.

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Tensmumym Wed 29-Jul-15 22:05:24

It is sad how figures such as Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet have been willing to work with Woody Allen.

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Preminstreltension Wed 29-Jul-15 22:09:34

Emma Thompson doesn't have great judgement on this stuff. She signed the petition seeking freedom for Polanski...

She's also a victim of the age crap. Her next film has her at 56 playing the mother of Robert Carlyle (54). He directed the film so must have had some say in the casting. Their vanity is astonishing.

thatstoast Wed 29-Jul-15 22:12:56

Good, I'm glad we're in agreement that it's not Colin Firth's fault. He seems like a good egg.

I'll have to take a look at the link when I'm not on mobile as the charts are a bit off. Am I right in saying that only the best actresses are allowed to be old? Meryl Streep, Glenn Close etc?

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Wed 29-Jul-15 22:37:23

Wtf @ Emma Thompson mum @ two years older

Can't they see how Fucking weird that is?

Tensmumym Wed 29-Jul-15 23:23:47

Whirlpool - couldn't agree more. Because of course there aren't any older actresses around able to play that role - like Phyllida Law, for example, Emma's own actress mother? And no mention that I can see in any of the reviews of the similarity in ages between the two.

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Tensmumym Wed 29-Jul-15 23:24:52

Premin of course, I'd forgotten the petition for Polanski and all the support he enjoys among the acting fraternity.

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WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Thu 30-Jul-15 09:05:31

With the Polanski thing, and not thinking of anyone in paricular who supported him, there are going to be some women who had similar or worse happen to them and so to say "that's normal" is much easier and more comfortable than realising it was assault or whatever and actually my parents let me down and that director who started my career at 12 was a child molester and all the rest of it. And of course some of the male supporters may be in that position as well.

Not to excuse anyone who expressed support but, that is likely to be the case sadly for some of them.

XmasMN9502 Thu 30-Jul-15 09:13:31

My "favourite" such thing is Tom Hanks and Sally Field. She played his love interest in Punchline in the Eighties, then his mother in Forrest Gump in the Nineties.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Thu 30-Jul-15 09:20:49

It's appalling isn't it.

An area that shows up starkly just how valuable men are considered compared to women, and what they are valued for.

Geena Davis, I think, has some kind of anti-sexism foundation which tries to do stuff to do with this, or soemtihng? google is calling grin

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Thu 30-Jul-15 09:22:10


geena davis institute on gender in media

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