The figurative language of Caity Weaver…

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I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a series of similes and metaphors from writer Caity Weaver…

A digitally restored edition of the 1987 box-office winning film Moonstruck, starring Cher, pictured above, was released last Christmas.

I haven’t yet viewed it again but I’ve put it on my list  because I can recall how much I enjoyed the humour and fine acting in this tribute to love that I first watched more than 30 years ago.

Incidentally, this story of an Italian-American widow (Cher) who lives with her family in Brooklyn Heights, ended up becoming the fifth highest-grossing film of 1987 in North America. It also received six Oscar nominations and won three, including best actress, best supporting actress and best original screenplay.

A recent profile of Cher, by writer Caity Weaver,  in the service of revisiting this famous movie caught my eye in a recent issue of the New York Times. In it, I found Weaver’s use of figurative language — both simile and metaphor — to be superb.

Here are my favourite examples from Caity Weaver’s text:

  • Without relying on the explicitly supernatural…[Moonstruck] conveys a feeling of magic, like sparks cast into winter darkness by a staticky blanket.
  • The film constructs scenes of normalcy with a fetishist’s care.
  • The most realistic aspect of all is, improbably, Cher, who slips into the role of Loretta with such quiet efficiency that certain moments — a scene in which she buys $11.99 worth of Champagne, for instance — play almost like documentary footage.
  • One afternoon in November, amid abundant pillows the colors of sand at every angle of the sun, she sat, long and regal in her home in Malibu, her center-parted black hair waterfalling over each shoulder in exactly the way Cher’s hair does.
  • Her portrayal of a plain Jane working-class woman who lives with her parents should have been about as distracting as Rodeo Drive standing in for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
  • Loretta Castorini is not a wallflower, exactly — more like a dandelion. No muss; no fuss; no inclinations or aspirations to reinvent herself as another class of bloom….
  • You see a woman who talks with her hands in a way entirely different from Cher, who also talks with her hands. Loretta’s hands grab her words by the lapel, are centimeters away from strangling them; Cher’s hands run through her words like water.
  • “Moonstruck” is a film that never winks at its audience; it seizes them in a firm embrace, kisses them on both cheeks and forces them to sit down and eat something.
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