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He’s not shown feeling fear, at least in the promotional materials — he’s only shown as determined, which is less of an emotion and more of a course of action., Poitier played Homer Smith, a traveling handyman who stumbles upon some nuns trying to build a parish in the middle of nowhere.
According to the ads, we’re supposed to insert ourselves in Winslet’s spot, because who wouldn’t want to be rescued by Elba?
In fact, fans can This is troubling, and it's also odd, considering that Winslet has a slightly bigger role in the film than Elba.
At the most, they hug, and even that act of affection seems stilted, as if no one could handle either of them showing any sizzle.
Thankfully, Elba and Winslet And whether you realize it or not, there is a lot riding on this fact, and this movie.
It almost seems like it’s supposed to be Ben's to protect Alex from dying, despite both of them needing to help each other.
In fact, a video ad for the film outright labels Ben as “Protector,” with Alex looking on helplessly, as a white fragile maiden is supposed to.
If the role had gone to George Clooney instead of Washington, the clear chemistry between the two characters would have likely grown into a full, sexual relationship.
However, despite the same chemistry being present between Washington and Roberts, the two never kiss.
As David Edelstein notes in his Vulture review, the book the movie is based on is told from Ben's point of view, but the film "slightly favors Winslet." The change might have been done to fall more in line with Hollywood’s awakening desire to show films from the female perspective, but the twist in POV, and Elba's "protector" role, are still problematic.
Yes, the "macho man" archetype is common for these types of movies, but if you inject racial politics into the equation, the focus on Elba as the “Protector” could also read like a subtle callback to a “domesticated buck” stereotype.