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Update on AS movie: David Kelley insuring "philosophical soundnes

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Angelina Jolie will look amazing and act beautifully as Dagny. I don't see why people are not happy with that casting decision.

?? I would hope there would be much broader criteria that that. Like quality of performance, tone and nuance that are on circumstance. Off the top of my head Blanchett would be a much better fit.

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The thought of Jolie playing Dagny is enough to make me want to puke. Not only is she wrong for the part physically, but as a person her sense of life is just so far from what Dagny represents. Really just think about it, look at her... she is not a Dagny Taggart. She is a Lillian Rearden.

Brad Pitt could be Ellis Wyatt, but he may be just a little too cute for that part. I like the idea of Paul Bettany as Hank, but a little scruffier, sharper angles, a bit more gaunt. I think he'd be perfect as Ragnar Danneskjöld, the most beautiful of all the men in the book. I love the idea of Wentworth Miller as Francisco. I had never heard of him before reading this thread, initially I had thought Orlando Bloom would be the man for it...

Oh! I've always thought James Stewart would have been a perfect Jimmy Taggart, lol. Think of the first scene in AS, when Willers goes into his office, when she first describes him... James Stewart!

Robert Redford would have been a perfect Hank Rearden.

As far as Dagny is concerned, I can't think of anyone at the moment. Physically the actress would have to be more along the lines of Hilary Swank, IMO. Someone w/ sharp angles and a lean body, like Gisele Bündchen—physically she'd be perfect, but she's not really an actress, and she's Brazilian... what's a Portuguese accent like I wonder? lol

Edited by S.Courcelle

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?? I would hope there would be much broader criteria that that. Like quality of performance, tone and nuance that are on circumstance. Off the top of my head Blanchett would be a much better fit.
"Act beautifully" is a broad criterion which would include those things you mentioned, and Angelina Jolie is certainly capable of delivering.

Cate Blanchett would also be a good pick; I think she is a fantastic actress who is better at creating an original character than Jolie. Really, I could watch her forever. But I still stand by Jolie as a good choice for Dagny.

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Yes, exactly. If a random person off the street tells you that Objectivists eat babies, then you're only going to give him so much credibility. If the head of "The Objectivist Center" does it, on the other hand...

First of all, I certainly don't support the TOC, but then I never have and never would. They seemed foppish as soon as I first read some of their material online about a decade ago. I think it's bizarre that anyone would ever take them seriously anyway. That leads me to another point...

To rephrase an epigram: "Live by a fallacy, die by a fallacy." While the TOC or for the matter anyone else claiming to be an Objectivist authority who fails to communicate and represent criticial aspects of Objectivism will offer no benefit to either the _Atlas Shrugged_ story nor to Objectivism, those supposed authorities can be disregarded. In short, if someone new to Ayn Rand's work considers an argument which happens to be an irrational appeal to authority, then they might just actually get the ignorance that they deserve.... unless they do the right thing and reconsider and _then_ disregard said argument.

Keep in mind, that regardless of the quality of ideas, it takes time to ingest and integrate (or misintegrate) ideas. The quality of the understanding of (the relevant) ideas depends on what work someone new to Ayn Rand's ideas is willing to do. ..and that is something that no one else, not even a thinktank has any direct control over. (Thank goodness!)

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The thought of Jolie playing Dagny is enough to make me want to puke. Not only is she wrong for the part physically, but as a person her sense of life is just so far from what Dagny represents. Really just think about it, look at her... she is not a Dagny Taggart. She is a Lillian Rearden.

You can tell what Jolie's sense of life is simply by looking at her?

Besides, what does it matter what her sense of life is as a person, so long as she can project a different sense of life while acting?

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You can tell what Jolie's sense of life is simply by looking at her?

Besides, what does it matter what her sense of life is as a person, so long as she can project a different sense of life while acting?

You're right: I can't tell simply by looking precisely what her sense of life is. In effect, I was asking you to look at her the way I look at her, to see her through my eyes—which was stupid. The following excerpt may help to clarify in what way I meant "sense of life:"

Extrospectively, the sense of life of another person strikes one as an immediate, yet undefinable, impression—on very short acquaintance—an impression which often feels like certainty, yet is exasperatingly elusive, if one attempts to verify it.... That automatic impression—of oneself or of others—is only a lead; left untraslated, it can be a very deceptive lead. TRM, pg. 32

So the sense of life I refered to is in fact only my lead on Jolie's sense of life, based on what I've read, seen, etc. It's a very basic impression, yet I was literaly repulsed when I first read on this thread that she wanted the part, might be considered for it. It was an emotional response, the idea of Jolie strongly clashed with my perception of Ayn Rand's character Dagny Taggart.

A given person's sense of life is hard to identify conceptually, because it is hard to isolate: it is involved in everything about that person, in his every thought, emotion, action, in his every response, in his every choice and value, in his every spontaneous gesture, in his manner of moving, talking, smiling, in the total of his personality. It is that which makes him a "personality." TRM, pg. 31

So no matter how well Angelina Jolie portrays a certain character, her sense of life will never be apart from it but will be right in it. I've seen several Jolie films, and it's all right—she is who she is. But for this particular part, concerning a character that's come to mean a great deal to me, like all of Ayn Rand's heroes have—it was like an insult, I took it personally. This is because my impression of Jolie's sense of life clashes with mine very strongly. Haven't you ever met someone who right off the bat you just didn't like—like there was something about that person you couldn't quite put your finger on, but that really bugged you? This is the way I feel about her, and no matter how much I see her or learn about her, I don't think it will go away.

So it was a clash between the values (or lack thereof) I associate with Angelina Jolie, and the values that I associate with Dagny Taggart. I should have been clearer, and never should I have tried to project my opinions and impressions on others. I'm a relatively new student to Objectivism, and have yet to take this all in—which is why I'm not posting on more serious topics yet.

Thanks,

S. Courcelle

Edited by S.Courcelle

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So no matter how well Angelina Jolie portrays a certain character, her sense of life will never be apart from it but will be right in it. I've seen several Jolie films, and it's all right—she is who she is. But for this particular part, concerning a character that's come to mean a great deal to me, like all of Ayn Rand's heroes have—it was like an insult, I took it personally. This is because my impression of Jolie's sense of life clashes with mine very strongly. Haven't you ever met someone who right off the bat you just didn't like—like there was something about that person you couldn't quite put your finger on, but that really bugged you? This is the way I feel about her, and no matter how much I see her or learn about her, I don't think it will go away.

A good actor knows how to act such that "every spontaneous gesture, in his manner of moving, talking, smiling," and so on, fit the personality and sense of life of the character he is supposed to be portaying. I'm not saying Jolie is a good enough actress to be successful at this; I haven't studied her carefully enough to know. I suspect that she would not be ideal, but I think she would be satisfactory. I would never expect anything about this movie to be ideal, given the state of the culture. (And the casting and acting are the least of my concerns.)

Every now and then, I get a very negative impression of someone. But as Ayn Rand says in the passages you have quoted, this is an emotional reaction and potentially very deceptive. You should be ready to examine that emotional reaction.

In fact, I doubt it is possible for you to have enough evidence to judge Jolie's character. At most, you have a hypothesis. If she should be cast as Dagny, I hope you will be able to give her the benefit of the doubt. It would be a shame if you weren't able to enjoy the movie because it wasn't exactly as you would have chosen.

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A good actor knows how to act such that "every spontaneous gesture, in his manner of moving, talking, smiling," and so on, fit the personality and sense of life of the character he is supposed to be portaying. I'm not saying Jolie is a good enough actress to be successful at this; I haven't studied her carefully enough to know. I suspect that she would not be ideal, but I think she would be satisfactory. I would never expect anything about this movie to be ideal, given the state of the culture. (And the casting and acting are the least of my concerns.)

Every now and then, I get a very negative impression of someone. But as Ayn Rand says in the passages you have quoted, this is an emotional reaction and potentially very deceptive. You should be ready to examine that emotional reaction.

In fact, I doubt it is possible for you to have enough evidence to judge Jolie's character. At most, you have a hypothesis. If she should be cast as Dagny, I hope you will be able to give her the benefit of the doubt. It would be a shame if you weren't able to enjoy the movie because it wasn't exactly as you would have chosen.

I don't think any actor could completely portray any character's sense of life—actually I think it's impossible because a sense of life is unique to an individual human being, and cannot be reproduced in either writing or theatrical performance, not completely; it's extraordinarily complex. Not even Rand's characters posses a real sense of life, because they are fictional characters. I think this is made clear in The Romantic Manifesto.

I think that every actor makes his own sense of life a part of every character they portray—I think it's less noticeable with less individualistic actors, but with someone like, say, Robert Redford, there is a very definite something that unites all of his performances: his sense of life. Most good actors have a strong enough sense of life to permeate everything they do, which is what makes them memorable. It is that something which is an element of every character they've ever portrayed and everything they've ever done but yet is not quite discernable; it is their personality. Think of Cary Grant, Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery...

I agree, these are emotional responses which could be misleading—and I should certainly be ready to examine those impressions when necessary, but I would need more data... :)

No, I don't think I have enough evidence to judge her character, only enough to make a sort of preliminary evaluation. I would certainly give her the benefit of a doubt, but I don't like the idea at all, it just doesn't make sense to me. But you're right: the film would be less than ideal all considered, and really the casting is far from being the most important element to consider here. :(

We've deviated from the point of the thread way too much and if we continue I'd like this to be made into a thread of its own, if possible. Although these are not the most important elements to debate should Altas Shrugged be made into a film, I think its fun to discuss them and a new thread would not be a bad idea.

S.Courcelle

Edited by S.Courcelle

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We've deviated from the point of the thread way too much and if we continue I'd like this to be made into a thread of its own, if possible. Although these are not the most important elements to debate should Altas Shrugged be made into a film, I think its fun to discuss them and a new thread would not be a bad idea.

S.Courcelle

You may start another thread if you like, but I don't think I have anything more to add myself.

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"Act beautifully" is a broad criterion which would include those things you mentioned, and Angelina Jolie is certainly capable of delivering.

Cate Blanchett would also be a good pick; I think she is a fantastic actress who is better at creating an original character than Jolie. Really, I could watch her forever. But I still stand by Jolie as a good choice for Dagny.

Right you are JASKN. My mistake, that'll teach me to try read boards coherently in the wee hours. I tried to go back and edit but only after the option was no longer available and didn't want to waste band width. On Blanchett vs Jolie . . . well I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

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