Zipping through newspapers online yesterday I came across this headline: Glenn Close to portray Britain’s Got Talent start, Susan Boyle, in bio-pic.
All I can say is, WHY?
First of all why do we need a bio-pic of Susan Boyle? It’s not as though she had died. It’s not as though she had a terribly interesting life before she won a TV talent show. Yes, she might have a good voice but she’s not exactly writing all her own songs and expressing new and exciting ideas. Or have I missed something? OK, so she sang for the Pope on his visit to the UK but do we really need to see her otherwise rather humdrum life portrayed in the cinema?
And then, these famous actors wanting to play her. It is rumoured that Catherine Zeta Jones was attracted to the role. Why? So, apparently, was Robin Williams. Did he want to resurrect Mrs Doubtfire?
I’m afraid I just don’t get it. Am I alone in this?
I can understand bio-pics of singers and other famous people who have almost become national treasures. Edith Piaf springs to mind. And THAT (La Vie en Rose) was a tremendous film. Coco Chanel also provided interesting material but do we really need the details of the lives of everyone who becomes famous for five minutes? Or famous for becoming the oldest person to hit the charts with a debut album (Susan Boyle)?
Mind you, she’s not the only one. After all, they made a film about Aron Ralston, the mountaineer who cut his own arm off when he got trapped up a mountain. Yes, it’s a great story of personal courage and all that but no-one made him go up the mountain and get stuck. And besides, I really have no desire to see someone pretending to be him cutting his arm off.
When I googled “man cuts his own arm off” to remind myself of his name I found out about other people who have done the same thing. Some time last summer someone called Sampson Parker got his arm stuck in an agricultural machine and had to chop his arm off to free himself. And just last week Jonathan Metz did the same thing when his had got trapped while fixing a furnace in his basement. And they are not the only ones. I just hope they don’t feel the need to make films about all these incidents as well. Chopping off your own limbs could replace vampire movies in the gruesome and horrific stakes. However, it may be that unless you do it in a wild and rugged setting like the mountains of Utah AND you’re already a famous mountaineer and photographer the cinematographers won’t be interested.
It’s just another aspect of our fascination with the trivia of the lives of others. Hence the success of all the “reality” TV shows. We even had the example of a real-life drama turning into a “reality” TV show when the Chilean miners were trapped in their mine and the world watched the rescue stage by breathtaking stage. AND they have made a film of that too!
All in all, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised then to hear an item on the radio news later yesterday about the happy young couple who are to be married in style in March, with close on 2000 guests. It is now possible, according to the news report, to go on coach tours of “Kate Country”. A tour company did it as a one off and then had lots of requests for repeats ... from all over the world.
Yes, just like Hardy’s Wessex and Wordsworth’s Lake District there is now Kate Middleton’s Berkshire. You can go and gawp at Kate’s childhood homes, her former schools, the church where she was baptised and the Old Boot Inn where she and William have been for drinks on occasion.
But in the end, why would you?