John Carney has had to eat some large slices of humble pie over the past few days. You may never have heard of him, but he directed a film called Begin Again. Still none the wiser? Not too surprising, since it tanked at the box office, and was pretty much panned by the critics.
Films tank for a lot of reasons, but the ultimate blame has to be laid at the door of the director. It’s the director’s job to get the best out of the cast. But Mr Carney decided it was Ms Knightley’s fault, and said he’d ‘never make a film with supermodels again.’
Now as it happens, Ms Knightley is a supermodel, since you don’t get to be the Face of Chanel if your face looks like the transmission out of a dump truck. I happen to think she’s jaw-droppingly gorgeous. I also happen to think she’s very very talented.
Let’s have a quick romp through some of her back catalogue, shall we? Bend It Like Beckham. This was a delight, full of youthful exuberance. Lightweight but very enjoyable. Pirates of the Caribbean. Gave her the platform to exhibit her not inconsiderable talents as a comedy actress. Domino. Not a great film, but she was good as the kickarse bounty hunter. Kickarse haircut too. Pride and Prejudice, where she played Elizabeth Bennet with a great deal of aloof charm. The reclusive and doomed Charlotte in London Boulevard. The Knightley/Farrell/Thewlis triumvirate in that was a masterclass in casting, as was Anna Friel as the trashy Briony. I really liked that film, as you may have guessed.
I needn’t go on, need I? And one reason I needn’t to is that the job has been completed for me.
Mark Romanek, Lorene Scafaria, and Lynn Shelton, three other directors who’ve worked with her, swung into action and gave Carney the kicking he deserved at a professional level, saying how talented she was and how lovely she was to work with.
And of course, the social media lit up like Bonfire Night, with battalions of trolls being fairly specific about his fate should this numbnuts stray into their hood.
Hence John Carney donning his hair sackcloth and ashes over the weekend. It was fun to watch the grovelling.