I cannot further explain the lesbotic appeal of Kristen Stewart beyond this: to a certain type of queer woman, she is the lesbian equivalent of Channing Tatum. I have nothing more to say on the matter; I will not justify myself.
I have watched the trailer for her latest film several times without the sound turned on, and I am ready to walk you through it. Breathe deeply. Let us begin.
Shots of an American flag and barbed wire, and so forth. War is complex, who is really being caged here, what side are you really on, what do things like right and wrong even mean, presumably.
Kristen Stewart is in uniform. Kristen Stewart is in uniform.
You poor misled things — Kristen Stewart was always her truest self in high-dandy, soft-butch form. She would, I have no doubt, make an excellent David Bowie circa his Thin White Duke era. She is not femme; to put her in women’s weeds and bedeck her honest, strong-boned face in paint was an insult to the hand of Nature. In Camp X-Ray we see Nature asserting herself.
We are fortunate indeed that we have not been punished by a vengeful god for daring to force Kristen Stewart to live disguised as a girl. Not, mind you, that girls are not wonderful, merely that Kristen Stewart never was. She was meant to walk squarely and plain-facedly down windowless hallways. Muscles were meant to twitch in her cheek. Her jaw was built to support the weight of the world.
Kristen Stewart was meant to grimace and scowl and hold her feelings in tightly until her mouth turns into a single compressed line and punch things and lean against walls. Here she has been given adequate scope for her talents. I have no idea what this movie is about.
How could any of us for even a second have been fooled into thinking that KStew was a romantic heroine. Give her the Jodie Foster roles and watch her rise. Make her a killer, make her a flustered FBI agent, make her a soldier; give her shirts square shoulders and strong cuffs. Keep her moving, keep her capable, keep her conflicted, and watch her win you over.
Shadows avaunt! Richard’s himself again.
Remember how everyone’s favorite part of Heath Ledger’s performance in Brokeback Mountain was his almost painful physical repression, his reluctance to express any emotion that wasn’t punching or SHUTTING DOWN? His voice was closed in on itself in a raspy burr — he fell to the ground rather than shed tears — his face was hooded and dark and full of twitching cheek muscles. Kristen Stewart is Heath Ledger, I assure you. She has the same handsome face, the same winsome, masculine smile, the same reluctance to make direct eye contact.
For years, everyone in the world has misunderstood Kristen Stewart’s compressed emotional range. They thought it meant she was a limited actress; it means nothing of the kind. She is John Wayne being forced to play the Maureen O’Hara character. Give her a rail to lean against during a sunset, a military jacket, a toothpick to chew on, and something to squint her eyes against lazily in the distance, and her guardedness will be transformed from unsuccessful femininity to The Great American Male.
Kristen Stewart is a goddamn cowboy.
There’s a scene where she hauls out and punches another soldier. I watched it several times but it happened too quickly to take a good screenshot. Rest assured that it is as good as it sounds.
The movie comes out on October 17. I have no desire to discuss its politics with you.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.