The Last Song

Miley Cyrus leaves Hannah Montana, and Dad Billy Ray, behind



Miley "Hannah Montana" Cyrus, that egregious tween poppet, is emerging from the chrysalis of Disney Channel childhood as a shiny young-adult butterfly in the music'n'movie world. And when you look at her face, with its chillingly perky ambition, and its lips, cheeks and forehead inflated taut, like the separate sections of a lilo, you will hear in your head the awestruck words of Ian Holm's severed head in Ridley Scott's Alien: "You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? Perfect organism …! Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility …! I admire its purity!"

Students of Miley's Hannah Montana period, in which she co-starred alongside real-life father Billy Ray Cyrus as a secret pop star with her manager dad, must have pondered the bittersweet autobiographical implications. Might not Hannah/Miley one day outgrow her doting old dad? Well, Billy Ray's not in this film; I don't see his name anywhere on the credits and … how can I put this? It's all about how she achieves personal growth as an artist and a woman while her fictional dad battles with cancer, albeit a picturesque sort of cancer whose severest symptom appears to be fainting on the beach – in tactful longshot. Could it be that Miley, in her caring way, is subconsciously offering some sort of prognosis on Billy Ray's prospects in the business we call show?

I hardly dare think. Anyway, this is a film based on the latest bestseller by that black-belt heartwringer Nicholas Sparks. Miley plays a girl named Veronica, funkily shortened to Ronnie, a teen with indie-lite attitude and colossal but neglected musical talent. She goes with her cute kid brother to stay in Georgia at the house of their estranged dad, played by Greg Kinnear. He's a sensitive craftsman with a way-cool beach house and his employment consists in the leisurely restoration of a stained-glass window from a local church. This had earlier burned down in circumstances which turn out to be stunningly unexciting and unconvincing.

It isn't long before rebellious-yet-vulnerable Ronnie snares the heart of local hottie Will, played by Liam Hemsworth, whose good looks are matched by oodles of cash. As he drives her up to the family estate, she gasps that it is like "Graceland". Actually, it's more like Tara, but maybe that's an uncomfortable comparison round these parts. Soon he's inviting her to his sister's wedding, and kid brother gets a whole montage sequence, helping Ronnie pick out a dress, like Ugly Betty's little nephew, only not as gay.

There are just so many tears and crises along the way, but finally Ronnie realises her full potential as a musician and a strong person. And her dad? Well, maybe Billy Ray tried to persuade everyone involved that her dad should wind up becoming a healthy and massively successful stained-glass-window guy. But it doesn't exactly work out like that. The "last song"? In all conscience, that should really have been Billy Ray's Achy Breaky Heart in a brooding minor key. You'll feel the ache and hear the break.

egregious : skończony

poppet : szkrab, maleństwo, dziecinka, kochanie

chrysalis : poczwarka

perky : żwawy, dziarski

inflated : nadęty, napuszony

taut : naprężony

lilo : materac dmuchany

dote : mieć bzika, nie widzieć świata (poza kimś)

albeit : aczkolwiek, chociaż

heartwringer : wyciskacz łez; autor wyciskaczy łez

estranged : odseparowany, wyobcowany

snare : łapać w sidła

oodles : masa, kupa

wind up : zakończyć, skończyć jako

brooding : groźny, niepokojący

tween : dziecko w wieku 10-12 lat (głównie jako kategoria konsumentów produkcji filmowych)

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