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That's life!- The return of the everyday Hero

Category: Dear Frankie Reviews
Article Date: April 22, 2005 | Publication: LEDEVOIR.Com | Author: Josee Blanchette

Posted by: admin

Finally, my hero has returned. I've been waiting for him for a while now. I was beginning to despair of fantasizing like a teenager. Ever since the last James Bond, since Russel Crowe (Gladiator), and since Rocco the porn star, I've been anticipating my new hero as though he were a messiah. I expected him to be larger than life, strong, handsome, manly and understanding, free and brave. Especially brave. And, after years of watching tame, scared men who hide behind their nannies in ads, and whose ambitions wither on tv dramas, it's none too soon. After begrudging Ovila, scorning Ovide and crying for Alexis [trans.'s note:French/Quebec tv characters], I longed for a whole man, a winner, strong and wooden as a mast, a mariner who wouldn't founder under his loves or his dreams(...)

The Stranger: To dream of from afar

Fortunately, I've just found my everyday heroes. My two heroes exemplify that man who is masculine and free, who has confronted his fears before the whole world. Actor Gerard Butler plays the role of 'The Stranger', a substitute father in Shona Auerbach's fabulous English film Dear Frankie. The dream of the fatherhood as well as masculine values are conveyed through a deaf 9 year old boy and this fantasy father, contrived and then hired by a single mother in the course of a day.

With discretion, silence and presence, The Stranger becomes attached to this boy, whom he feels could have been his own son. He adopts the identity of a sailor, returned from afar, with no past or future. The Stranger takes on the calm strength of a man without doubts, a man whom you can trust, a man who teaches the lessons of courage, integrity and interaction. [trans.'s note: "d'adresse" could mean either cleverness, skill, to address someone, or interaction. Sorry, it was unclear.]

With the tide rising high in your eyes, you begin to want a role-model for this little boy who is held to the light by the gaze of a 36 year old man. But this superb wall of a man is not cold-hearted and, upon first contact, all reserve and hesitation melt away. Each spilled tear reminds you of a man,a father, who wasn't present in your life. Each look makes you hope for Frankie's salvation and resurrection(...)

While men are experiencing an unprecedented male crisis, it is through heroes and everyday follies that our children most need to express themselves. We're all thirsty for big, confident men, men without measure that we can turn to. Without them, it's the dissolution of dreams and illusion, the triumph of narrow thought, the aborted attempt to go beyond the self(...)

Discovered: Actor Gerard Butler in the film Dear Frankie. One of the handsomest male specimens since Russel, Roy [Dupuis] and Brad. An actor capable of sustaining, with a single gaze, one of cinema's longest silences, a pause long enough to make love and tell all of love's secrets in both languages. The scene ends with a chaste kiss but nevertheless leaves you with an electric charge running through your body. A hero is born!

Original French contributed by the lovely Ella
Translated into English by me, Mademoiselle Em


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