15 inane thoughts went through my head as I watched Green Lantern.
In an attempt to act our age and go out on a Friday night, my friend Nicole and I went to a screening of Green Lantern. Seeing movies the day they open is not something we normally do and we were a little taken aback by the number of people (guys) there.
Nicole: When did this movie open? Me: Today. Nicole: That explains it.
Today (Friday, 10.4) is Peter Sarsgaard Meditation Day, if you want to think like that. You know…thoughts of who he is and how sharp his mind is, what he’s got stewing inside, what that easy smile and those hooded eyes really indicate deep down, where’s he’s heading.
Sarsgaard, 34, has two new movies opening today —Jarhead, a Waiting-for-Godot- ish Gulf War drama in which he plays Troy, the hardest and truest Marine of them all…an intense embodiment of the modern deballed warrior…and The Dying Gaul, in which he plays a gay screenwriter involved in a sexual-ethical muddle with a big-studio executive (Campbell Scott) who wants to make a movie of his script, and the executive’s curiously frustrated wife (Patricia Clarkson).
Both of Sarsgaard’s characters are given to internal suffering, which he conveys with his usual particularity. A lot of actors are good at subtle conveyences, but Sarsgaard is always fascinating when most of the energy is being pushed down and there’s relatively little to do. He doesn’t ever seem to say, “Look at me”…but you can’t help doing that.
He can also be riveting when asked to go in the opposite direction. There’s a start- ling, almost-on-the-cusp-of-being-too-much sexual scene in Gaul that proves this and then some. It’s “honest” in a way that almost no other actor I can think of would be willing to touch.
I wouldn’t call either performance career-altering, but they’re a reminder of what everyone has come to realize about Sarsgaard over the least couple of years, which is that he’s an exceptional violin player, and that one day the right music and the right conductor are going to come along and…wham, out of the park.