Matt and I went to see The Elephant Man last night starring Bradley Cooper, and more importantly (to me), Patricia Clarkson. It just got fantastic reviews when it opened on Sunday and I was excited. I’m not a fan of Bradley Cooper because he always plays some slimy grease ball in whatever movie he’s in so I had low expectations. Patricia Clarkson, however, always plays fun, amazingly eccentric characters in movies and I love her.
The Elephant Man was funny at times, but mostly sad and depressing. About a man with severe deformities in the late 1800’s, his life is not easy and he’s kept at arms length most of his life until he’s abandoned and is taken to a doctor’s doorstep.
Maybe it was my low expectations, but I think Cooper just poured his heart and soul into his performance he was phenomenal. He really blew myself, and everyone around me, away. His physicality and the emotion he portrayed with such few words was mind blowing. He was really great.
Patricia Clarkson was also wonderful, but that’s to be expected. She played an actress who is hired by the doctor to socialize with him, and she becomes entranced with his charm and intelligence. Alessandro Nivola, who played the doctor, was outstanding also.
This is a very parsed down version of The Elephant Man (which is normally 3 acts but in this case it’s 2 hours including the intermission), but it’s still very moving. If you want to find out whether or not Cooper can act onstage, go check this production out.