An Open Letter To Natalie Press…

I don’t know where you are or what you are doing…I assume you’re in London, living a life of auditions, meetings, rehearsals, and tv/film shoots. I’m writing you in the faint hopes that you have googled yourself and have arrived here. Granted, I’ve only seen you in one film- 2004’s My Summer of Love. But the range of emotions you demonstrated in that movie, which I’ve watched upwards of 10 times is magnificent; you have elevated film acting to art. Your portrayal of Mona, a working-class British country girl, is so naturalistic and devoid of self-consciousness, she seems real. One gets the feeling that one is watching a documentary at times- which is due, in no small measure, to director Pawel Pawlikowski’s intimate compositions and free-wheeling editing. But Mona (nee Lisa) is your construction and your genius.

Each time I watch the film, I am stunned by not only the dynamic range of your performance- its anguish, listlessness, and sense of humor- but how you perfectly calibrate and balance these emotions, keeping the disparate, contradictory nature of human personality so believable and yes, cohesive. It takes an expansive mind to do that. It’s such a great performance that I genuinely have no idea what you’re really like. Is that really your accent? Are you really that funny? I don’t know and I don’t care to know- it would spoil the illusion. It’s been over six years since My Summer of Love, and I hope to see you on the stage or screen soon. Until that time, I have your creation- your Mona on DVD, in all her complexity and brilliance.

Ann Driscoll

1 Comment

Filed under Film

One response to “An Open Letter To Natalie Press…

  1. luke p

    Ann I think you live on the moon. Natalie has worked consistently since My summer of love. Her projects are low key but she is always working. Just this week she has been seen on BBC1 in Five daughters and she was nominated for an ISA a couple of months back!

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