Actors arenâ€™t auteurs; certainly not in the original French. But certain stars have always been auteurs of a kind, who with luck, talent, looks, timing, hard work, representation and any number of other factors, tangible and otherwise, manage to become more than just another pretty face, another desirable and disposable body. They are auteurs of self-representation â€” not, you know, whatâ€™s-her-name, you know, her, the girl.
Those self-represented qualities include intelligence, self-possession, privateness and a certain hardness â€” issues of her personal life aside, these are not all qualities that lend themselves toward being, as Dargis puts it, the girl: "Indeed, her greatest on-screen romance has been opposite a cannibalistic serial killer (‘The Silence of the Lambs’) who, safely out of physical reach, woos her with words and an occasional sniff of the air."
Foster actually acknowledges this herself in an interview with Michael Phillips at the Chicago Tribune:
"What I love," Foster says, "are intimacy stories that are not about lovers. You know? I love that. I love the relationship [Hannibal Lecter] and Clarice Starling had in ‘Silence of the Lambs.’ I’m not that interested, honestly, when it’s a romantic movie about two people falling in love. But there’s something to me that is so deep and so profound about the connection in this film that’s beyond that, that’s beyond ‘Oh, well, maybe they’re going to get together.’"
Also worth checking out in the Times fall preview: A.O. Scott takes a turn with Francis Ford Coppola, who, after Scott resolves not to see easy parallels in "Youth Without Youth"‘s story of inexplicable rejuvenation and Coppola’s return to filmmaking, is told by the director that "I’m really a lot like the man in the movie." Also, Dennis Lim defends James Gray, the "anti-Tarantino."