The Counselor is a dialogue-heavy, stylized, ultraviolent crime movie that is both a thriller and a morality play. Ridley Scott directed it, and after the turgid Prometheus you might be relieved to see him return to spacious, Thelma & Louise-like Southwestern vistas. (The Counselor takes place in El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.) It has a star-laden cast: Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, and Cameron Diaz share the screen. And a small, bookish portion of the audience will go out of curiosity to see what an original screenplay by Cormac McCarthy — the reclusive Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist — would turn out like.
But also Cameron Diaz’s character has sex with a car.
As Malkina, Diaz is part cat, part alligator. Her haircut is asymmetrical and two-toned, and her motives are similarly skewed. Her boyfriend, Reiner (Javier Bardem), is hopeless around her; he’s her pawn, and is both mystified by and frightened of her. Diaz has never played a character like Malkina — and a character like Malkina has actually never before existed!
She has sex with a car!
Whether you end up liking The Counselor or not, that scene is the one you’ll remember. It’s memorable not just for the act itself (which plays out in flashback outrageously, but also somehow discreetly), but for Reiner’s narration of the events to Fassbender’s character (known as the Counselor). It’s eloquent, funny, and random as hell — McCarthy’s doing, I imagine, and delivered by Bardem with deadpan hilariousness. To quote heavily from his description would be to spoil, but here’s just one bit: After noting that Malkina has a Brazilian wax, he tells the Counselor the whole sequence, and concludes it was “too gynecological.” Feminist film theorists will write about this scene forever.
Anyway! Here you go.
- Passenger plane carrying 48 people crashes in Pakistan, was en route to Islamabad. Rescue efforts underway.