I am crushing pretty hard on Claire Danes right about now. Iíve just seen Shopgirl and I am giddy with just a slight glance from her striking eyes.
Shopgirl is a dreamy little film about mistakes and awkwardness and love and how these all play together.
Claire Danes is Mirabelle, a wonderfully real yet somewhat idealized young woman with all of the insecurities and flaws of a human being. She is no movie heroine yet this story is her illumination. We get to see how beautiful she is in all her glory and understand why those around her would fall for her.
Steve Martin is Ray, a distant spoiled older soul whose salvation is falling for this girl and whose tragedy is his inability to love her in the manner she requires and deserves.
Jason Schartzman is Jeremy, a clumsy, dim savant who manages to rise to the occasion with a great deal of help from Mirabelle herself.
But this really isnít their story. Itís about Mirabelle, her growth and her radiance. The movie projects her quality into the stratosphere, and like someone drunk on a new fascination, the audience is intoxicated by her.
Without someone as mesmerizing and talented as Danes, this movie would not have worked. She expresses the entire film through her incredible face and breathes truth into all of the romance of the film.
She also provides the best film nudity I have seen all year.
This quiet and immense performance is captivating. Maybe one needs to have an appreciation of a love they missed out on to really get it. Maybe one needs to accept their own loss before they can appreciate what is being said here.
Shopgirl is a mature love letter to someone lost. Itís about realising how special that human being was and how an individual changed you. Itís also about accepting your own faults and weaknesses as a part of who you are. Once you can see yourself as that beautiful maybe you can see that beauty in someone else.
Watch the impressive work of cinematographer Peter Suschitzky. His images are picture perfect and capture the ethereal mood of the film. Itís a quiet and understated film and his work provides just the right tone.