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Simon Rex shines in unforgettable movie

In a year that has brought us an unexpected bounty of great porn movies – Bad Luck Banging out of Romania, Ninja Thyberg’s Please, still waiting for a release – Homemade may be the best. Actually, the origin-story-for-a suitcase by Sean Baker, Red rocket, so good that “Simon Rex Oscar buzz” is no longer just some random word.

Personally, I doubt the average Academy voter is cool enough to realize what Rex is doing here, or that Red rocket would be enough to penetrate the mainstream consciousness to make Rex likely to win, but if that happened they wouldn’t be wrong. Porn actor turned model turned model MTV VJ made whatever he was-doing-since-MTV-VJ shined with the name “Mikey Saber” in the sequel to Baker Florida Project. In red rocket, Rex plays an unfortunate male porn performer who returns to his comically bleak hometown of Texas City, Texas to start over, in one of the cosmically perfect combinations between fictional characters and public figures that only happen once or twice in a generation, like Mickey Rourke in Wrestler or Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike.

Has anyone else been able to play this character? First and foremost, Rex has the looks: tan and hairless, eerily slim, a slightly wrinkled and cute face, a guy who somehow still evokes a teenage skateboarding scum even though he’s 44. It’s hard to imagine that you can find someone who looks like a guy who has used a camera without actually getting started with a camera. Maybe he exists, but why go looking when you already have Simon Rex?

Of course, the greatness of Sean Baker’s latest effort goes far beyond the summation. Red rocket does an incredibly skilful dance that keeps us invested in Mike Saber’s journey without making him an easy hero or an easy villain, both of which he could easily easy to become. As a porn producer once tformer journalist Jon Ronson when he’s exploring the world of porn, “You can find any story you want to tell here.”

That’s still true, and if Baker wants to do Red rocket in Wrestler for the porn, in which Mike Saber finds redemption, he might have. If he wanted it to be a goofy and sensational narrative about a swindler who cheats on young girls into prostitution like Hot Girls Wanted, he can do it too. Red rocket It’s both and it’s neither, because porn is neither entirely “good” nor entirely “bad,” it just is. Likewise, Mikey Saber is both victim and victim, a lovable son and a rogue scum that can’t be vindicated but also hard to blame outright.

In one of the Red rocketIn the early scenes, Saber is bruised and shackled for his estranged, addicted wife (Bree Elrod) and her mother (Brenda Deiss) to let him sleep there with them in the sturdy pickaxe. their shields (the smell of stale cigarettes permeates every frame). They reluctantly agreed. Mikey is nothing if not relentless, even though they charge for the rent. So he ended up doing a series of job interviews around town, delivered in a montage. After cycling to a series of restaurants and other retail establishments in the only shirt he could flip, a girl’s tie-dyed figure, which Rex had somehow cut out, since only a model can, Mikey is constantly urged to explain 17 curiosities. -year gap on his resume. “Listen, fine, I’ll be on par with you,” Mikey finally admitted, in a mocking tone honed by years of use. “My stage name is Mike Saber, you can Google me.”

Potential employers have many reactions to this news, but the common thread is always the same: “Good luck searching and all, but we can’t, like, have porn star work here! That will be freak. ”

This is the dissonance of social perception on which Red rocket established, that regardless of mainstream pornography, pornography, and pornography have become (I remember “porn star” being a popular clothing brand at least 20 years), the actual erotic performers are still efficiency lovers. They can be turned down for even the lowest jobs, fired from other people they’ve worked with for years, get fired. Bank account declined, etc. Even working at Taco Bell has been considered too good for someone who has watched porn. It is both shockingly pure hypocrisy and a symbol of how we treat all “necessary workers”. We wanted to benefit from their labor (or maybe just do it) without conceding their humanity.

Again, there’s a tearful story there, but Red rocket refused to make Mikey an object of pity. He was too proud of it, for one thing, but also too caring. Almost as soon as you acknowledge the cruel treatment of him by society, you are forced to take into account private feeling, that Friend probably wouldn’t want to live with this scaly animal hebo either. Simon Rex goes that route perfectly, being both adorable and immaculate, charming even when you know he’s trying to pickpocket you.

Mikey finally found his potential white whale/next meal ticket working at the local donut shop, a freckled teen who loves to flirt three weeks before his 18th birthday and is ready ready for porn, she’s got her own erotic name: Strawberry, played by Suzanna Son, who is almost perfectly cast as Simon Rex. Their subsequent relationship was downright cold, each predicting some vision of their future selves for the other, as Mikey carefully lied to her a little bit at a time.

In America especially, but perhaps everywhere, we tend to want our exploited classes to appear sad, innocent, almost helpless so that we can feel comfortable. while rescuing them. Baker’s indelible portrait features the natural rebelliousness of characters who refuse to execute the social script they’ve been assigned.

‘Red Rocket’ hits theaters on December 10th. Vince Mancini is on Twitter. You can check out his archive of movie reviews here.

https://uproxx.com/movies/red-rocket-review-sean-baker-simon-rex-a24/ Simon Rex shines in unforgettable movie

JOE HERNANDEZ

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