Monday, 23 September 2013

Princess Diana and Liberace: film-makers can do wonders with CGI, but they still make ruibbish wigs

Copyright: National Post

Not much upsets my wife, but the various clips and stills from the Diana biopic which have been all over the media these last couple of weeks like a rash have been driving her tonto, because the various wigs Naomi Watts sports don't look like any of Diana's myriad hair-styles (all created by Myriad of Bond Street). It's not that Mrs G was a great Diana fan (far from it): she just can't understand why the film-makers would get something so simple to get right so spectacularly wrong.

My other half is dead right, of course. Why go through all the pain and expensive of making a film about one of the most photographed figures in history, and then fail to get their hair right? 

I suspect that Liberace is a much better film than Diana, but the makers have fallen into the same trap.  

As many people have asked, why does Michael Douglas appear to be wearing a flat cap on his wizzened old bonce? Are he and Matt Damon about to take the whippets for a walk? (That's not intended to be a gay double-entendre, by the way.)

Of course, the inability to render the barnets of historical figures convincingly is nothing new. Remember the bizarre hairdo Ian McKellen sported as John profumo in Scandal?

But that was back in 1989 and it was a British film, so the budget might not have stretched to effective hair-styling - but what's the excuse for making Tommy Lee Jones's Thaddeus Stevens look quite so ridiculous in Spielberg's Lincoln, released last year?

Of course film-makers don't have to be depicting historical figures in order to come up with distractingly silly rugs. When unconstrained by reality, they commit even greater outrages in the old Fred Astaire department - indeed some actors seem to regularly bring out the very worst in hair designers:

I'll leave you with the Mother of All Ridiculous Movie Hairdos (at least John Travolta appears to be enormously excited by being made to look like a complete prat):

1 comment:

  1. Very entertaining post. Thanks.

    " take the whippets for a walk". This must be authentic homosexual argot. It just sounds right. I suspect you have been flicking through the titles in the "Gay Issues" section at your local book-shop again and know the answer. The picture of Michael Douglas made me laugh out loud.

    I agree with you about Hollywood and wigs, but when it comes to facial hair they really lose the plot. Just one example. Ted Turner's very long and expensive film "Gettysburg" contains a collection of beards that beggar belief. Tom Berenger has visible hair extensions in his ["Two Beards Longstreet"] and has to wear the biggest military stetson I have ever seen to balance out its size. Geoff Daniels sports a walrus moustache that puts Nietzsche's to shame. In the sister-production "Gods and Generals" Stephen Lang has inherited Berenger's beard which turns the death-bed scene of Stonewall Jackson into high comedy. Such a pity. Both films have magnificent battle sequences.