She was us.
“You’ve got me? Who’s got you?”
I love the line because it’s so very human. We all know Superman can fly but Lois Lane didn’t, and Kidder really sells the complete astonishment at the sight of the man who has suddenly appeared in mid air to save her life. A movie that was sold on the promise that you would see a man fly, needed state of the art, innovative special effects, a lightning-in-a-bottle actor, and an actress who could be US in the scene. To exclaim with excitement, shock, and wonder at what we were watching.
My youngest daughter and I have a ritual at bed time in which she stands at the bottom of the stairs and turns and grins at me – goading me into scooping her up in my arms and saying “Easy miss, I’ve got you”, so that she can be Lois Lane, just for a minute.
“Do you like pink?”
You could hold auditions for thousands of actresses for days on end and not find another one with the alchemy to blend the vulnerability, flirtation, shyness, and even a sly sense of humour all loaded into these four words. And we know this to be true, because that is what they did.
On the balcony, she dismisses him, teases him, and falls in love with him. There are so many wonderful lines in that scene to build that relationship, but “do you like pink?” is my favourite.
Margot Kidder had a varied and storied career, impacting several genres and informing the childhoods of many of you reading this. She also had a well documented struggle with mental illness and her bravery has helped enlighten the ignorant and empower the suffering. Her place in pop culture would be assured even without our boy. But forgive me, this is a Superman site, and she was my first Lois.
“What a super man. SUPERMAN!”
There have been many attempts to unite Kal-El with his more famous name. Some fair better than others, and it can be a tricky proposition. How best for this humble friend of ours to receive such an outwardly glorified title? How do you give it to him? You find someone who carries with her the same cynicism and allergy to the silliness of all this flights and tights stuff as the audience does, and then have her be completely won over by him. She walks away from her date in a daze, knowing that everything has changed for the world, but more importantly, everything has changed for her.
And for us. For she is us. As Christopher Reeve shimmered with the intangible magic of an icon brought to life, Kidder’s Lois lit a cigarette and waited for the catch that never came. The least celebrated colour in Donner’s palette, but just as crucial as Unsworth’s camera, Williams’ score, or Reeve’s majesty.
Margot Kidder is charmed by him in spite of herself and so are we. She believes in him, and so do we.
We believe a man can fly only because Margot Kidder does. Thank you Margot.
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- Margot Kidder was humanity - May 14, 2018