Any Human Heart
You can watch Any Human Heart, free, on-line until March 22, 2011.
Any Human Heart is a story about a man. Some reviews sell it as a story about “any man” or “every man” which in a sexist world means men explicitly, unless a woman pipes up and asks, “How am I to identify with the main protagonist?” Then it will be, “Well, Any Human Heart means any human heart. Okay, whatever. There are too many specific sex roles in this story for a woman to put her feet in Mountstuart’s shoes comfortably. This story is about a man!
The pace is slow, even too slow for me, — someone who does not mind slowness. Slow. I suspect the “stunning” views and fabulous entrances made by pretty people are expected to fill in between the narcoleptic blanks. Let me be the first to tell you, while you were sleeping, you did not miss a thing.
In a nutshell: An old man, remembers his past, remembers successful and beautiful people and tremendous opportunities and experiences, —and cries. Collectively it is Forest Gump, in the sense that Forest just happens to be where major historical events take place and/or encounter historical people, meets When Did you Last See Your Father?, although the son is the father and the son. Incidentally, Jim Broadbent portrays the father in WDYLSYF as well as the elder Mountstuart in Any Human Heart.
There is one delicious nugget however, or should I say nougat. Quite tasty. Gillian Anderson’s portrayal of Wallis Simpson, along with Tom Hollander as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor is delightfully empyreal. Gillian Anderson, I love you. Call me, we will eat ham and cheese sandwiches, bananas, and cherry tomatoes alongside the 134 and throw biodegradable rubbish off the nearest overpass. Watching cars swerve can be quite therapeutic when done with the right person. The first portrayal of Wallis Simpson I’ve seen was in the mini-series Bertie and Elizabeth (2002). That led me to watch Wallis & Edward (2005). In both of those series, a little smack was talked about Wallis Simpson but she was not portrayed as too terrible of a person. However, in Any Human Heart, Wallis Simpson is so over the top. Anderson’s Wallis is Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, when his role was first charming, and funny).
Okay, I can identify with Mountstuart in the scene when The Duke and Duchess of Windsor turn on him. There you are, wide-awake, comfortable with your surroundings, confident that you know what is happening in your environment when suddenly two fucking lunatics start spitting JUDAS! at you as if you did something dreadfully wrong. Then years later, it happens again in New York. What outrageously fun insanity to witness. Hollander’s lack of Hollywood Leading Man Height is utilized to accentuate the Duke’s insignificance, and the transformation that is done to age and embitter Anderson should come with a viewer discretion warning. Wallis is scary.