(CN sexual assault) A summary of films I saw over the past month with fat characters that I didn’t write about.
Super (2010, dir. James Gunn)
Mr. Range (Don Mac) is a powerful drug dealer who does business with Jacques (Kevin Bacon). Jacques has procured several women to entertain Mr. Range during their transaction, but Range insists on being alone with Sarah (Liv Tyler), who is high. Jacques allows Range to take Sarah into a bedroom. After she tells him she doesn’t want to have sex, he attempts to rape her. Frank (Rainn Wilson) kills Mr. Range. During Frank and Jacques’ climactic showdown, Jacques refers to Range as “that fat n—–.”
The Grapes of Wrath (1940, dir. John Ford)
Ma Joad is portrayed by Jane Darwell, who was also in The Ox-Bow Incident. The neo-Biblical feel of Steinbeck’s story features characters who are drawn very simplistically. Ma is a pretty typical matriarch of a rural family in a lot of ways, but she is portrayed with dignity, as the Joad family’s strength and emotional center.
Confidential Report/Mr. Arkadin (1955, dir. Orson Welles)
The great man himself as the titular Mr. Arkadin, a powerful, wealthy criminal who can’t remember his own past. Fat bit players include an indignant chef and a cigar-smoking retired general.
Mommy (2015, dir. Xavier Dolan)
The great thing about Mommy is how it centers and humanizes characters who are often written as obnoxious cartoons, namely Steven, a teenage boy with behavioral issues (Antoine Olivier-Pilon), and Diane, his foul mouthed, fading beauty mom (Anne Dorval). However, most of the other characters in the 2+ hour film are roughly drawn, more aides or impediments to the main characters than characters in themselves. One of these characters is a fat woman who has assumed her husband’s position as editor of a magazine where Diane works. The woman takes sadistic pleasure in firing Diane, telling her that she has no talent as a columnist and was only hired because her husband found her attractive.
F for Fake (1973, dir. Orson Welles)
The last film Orson Welles ever directed was a frenetic documentary about forgery and deception, featuring Welles himself as the narrator and master of ceremonies. Until this point I haven’t written about fat documentary subjects I’ve come across because their weight has been purely incidental, but Welles’ role in his film was intentional (even if it was in part due to his ego). He appears as an erudite and mischievous dynamo in a fabulous black cloak and hat: performing magic tricks, spinning glorious tales for the audience (both watching the film and situated around him at a fine restaurant and on a picnic) while at the same time reminding us that we can’t always trust what we see and hear.
PeeWee’s Big Adventure (1985, dir. Tim Burton)
There are a handful of fat characters in this film, all of whom pose a threat or impediment to PeeWee (Paul Rubens) to some degree: Francis Buxton (Mark Holton), a snotty rich kid who pays to have PeeWee’s bike stolen; Large Marge (Alice Nunn), the ghostly trucker who gives PeeWee a ride and a scare; Andy (Jon Harris), a trucker who wants to hurt PeeWee because he’s jealous of his relationship with his girlfriend Simone (Diane Salinger); and some members of the biker gang who want to torture and kill PeeWee, until he wins them over with his dancing: