Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Natasha Richardson

I’ve been praying for Natasha since I heard about her accident yesterday afternoon at a post-parade luncheon. Just the night before I had watched the movie Evening and was struck by something she said in a featurette interview. In the movie she plays Vanessa Redgrave’s daughter (in another nice piece of casting, Mamie Gummer plays a younger version of Meryl Streep) and she said she asked screenwriter Michael Cunningham to write in a scene with her mother because there wasn’t one of them together one-on-one. She said she told him she’d never be in another movie with her mother in which they play mother and daughter and I thought, “Why not?” It seemed an odd thing to say because I didn’t see why they couldn’t find another good script to do together. Now I pray she wasn’t being prophetic.

In January, Natasha and Vanessa did play the roles of mother and daughter in a one-night benefit concert version of "A Little Night Music," the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical, but it’s eery that two years ago, when she was only 43, she seemed absolutely certain that she would never again play the mother-daughter relationship in a film with Vanessa.

This illustrates once again for me the need, as my friend Peter wrote to me in a St. Patrick’s Day card, to "seize the day." She had the chance then and she made the most of it.

It also points out the importance of paying attention to our intuition. In the book Practical Intuition: How to Harness the Power of Your Instinct and Make It Work for You, author Laura Day says that we are all intuitive -- “you access your ‘sixth sense’ unconsciously all the time” -- but we need awareness and practice to develop conscious control over “this amazing faculty.” I don’t know whether Natasha was consciously or unconsciously following her intuition, but the result is she made a great decision and now there is a moving scene of the two of them together in “Evening,” an encounter we will have forever.

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