Lauren Bacall has to be the most beautiful woman(lady) there ever was. It’s something about the way she talks, I think. It’s like she’s constantly sneering, a very sexy sneer. And it’s her bottom teeth that show. As someone who is self-conscious about her big front teeth, I’m fascinated by Bacall’s mouth.
But I’ve always been one to watch mouths instead of looking people in the eyes. Here’s a quote from one of my favorite books: “When someone speaks he looks at a mouth, not eyes and their colours, which, it seems to him, will always alter depending on the light of the room, the minute of the day. Mouths reveal insecurity or smugness or any other point on the spectrum of character. For him they are the most intricate aspect of faces. He’s never sure what an eye reveals. But he can read how mouths darken into callousness, suggest tenderness. One can often misjudge an eye from its reaction to a simple beam of sunlight.” – Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient)
And Bacall is all mouth, if you ask me. Which is why she is so great in The Big Sleep (starring alongside another sneering mouth).
Key Largo and Written on the Wind are two other Bacall movies that I’ve seen recently, but so far I love The Big Sleep the most. Raymond Chandler writes the funniest one liners! And she has the lowest voice. She can really pull off the sexy badass role.
Also, she plays Mam in Manderlay and Ma Ginger in Dogville. Is it a coincidence that I didn’t recognize her in the Von Trier movies and then I suddenly I start to love her in all of these older movies? Probably it’s a sign from God.