Nice ass, no brains? According to one movie critic, (female) good looks and literary talent are mutually exclusive.
In a review of Paul Haggis' new film "Third Person," starring Olivia Wilde and Liam Neeson, GQ's Tom Carson posits that Wilde's excellent derriere makes her character's more writerly pursuits -- and simply her desire to be literate -- completely unbelievable. He writes:
Neeson and Wilde get up to some believably wayward antics: games, one-upmanship, the kind of desire for each other that comes from old acquaintance rather than novelty. She's supposed to be a writer too, but your belief in that won't outlast Wilde scampering naked through hotel corridors once Neeson playfully locks her out of his room. With that tush, who'd need to be literate? Who'd want to?
Right, Carson, because no woman might be both genetically blessed and have the desire to read, write and focus on her mind. Who knew that to be writer you had to be homely-looking? Or that looks and smarts were even related at all? But as Mic's Julianne Ross points out, Carson's glib statements -- while obviously annoying -- are even more problematic when viewed in the context of the male-dominated world of literature.
Adding to the irony, had Wilde decided to pursue a career as a writer, there's every reason to believe she'd have been an extraordinary one. Her grandfather, Claud Cockburn, was a well-regarded novelist, journalist and socialist activist. Her father Andrew Cockburn and two of her uncles, Alexander and Patrick, and one of her aunts, Sarah Cockburn, all became celebrated writers, as did her mother, the investigative journalist Leslie Cockburn.
Luckily, Wilde herself stepped in to call bullsh*t on Carson's ignorant comments, via her Twitter feed:
We couldn't have possibly said it better ourselves. Smartass women everywhere, we salute you.
Ryan Grim contributed reporting to this piece.