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Ruth Wilson Comes To America

I haven’t been insanely excited about the prospect of a Jerry Bruckheimer-helmed, Johnny-Depp-plays-a-Native-American The Lone Ranger movie. But now that Ruth Wilson’s apparently going to play the female lead, I feel sort of obligated to be at least moderately optimistic about it.

I didn’t give Wilson nearly enough love in my paean to Luther, but she’s one of the best parts of an extremely strong show. She plays Alice Morgan, a serial killer with an extremely strong internal code who, after tangling with John Luther when he investigates her murder of her parents, gets very attached both to him and to the idea of his relationship with his wife. Alice is a stylized, controlled character, but not a cold one, and a real departure from the hysterical female killers we usually get in pop culture. There’s no question that she’s crazy, but she’s a very distinct kind of crazy. And it’s fascinating to watch her relationship with Luther develop: it’s a very functional back-and-forth that serves the interests of two wildly dysfunctional people, and it’s a very satisfying friendship between a man and a woman, something we see on screen all too rarely.

In any case, Wilson, who looks like an evil version of Emma Stone, deserves to be richly remunerated for her excellent work, and I’d love to see her more on this side of the pond. I just hope between this and Noomi Rapace’s (she played Lisbeth in the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo movies) role in the next Sherlock Holmes movie, which looks…not good, we don’t develop a habit of importing hugely compelling and unique European artists and then using them in totally boring ways. It’s a real risk, and an unfortunate one.

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