I was attractive enough when I was a younger woman, but I was no Genevieve Bujold. Anne of the Thousand Days, her photo on the cover of Time. Could I possibly ever be as beautiful as Genevieve Bujold, my adolescent self asked over and over? Would not my life be perfect, must not her life be perfect, to hold such beauty in one’s person?
I had not thought of Genevieve Bujold in decades. Last week, she appeared in a photo in my local paper. An area filmmaker, Jay Craven, was screening his latest movie, Northern Borders, about a boy and his grandparents who lived in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. In a still shot from the film, there was Genevieve, unrecognizable in shoddy clothes and knitted cap. I caught the caption and stared. How could this be Genevieve?
And then I realized. Genevieve Bujold had grown older during all of those decades in which I had forgotten about her, had forgotten about wanting to look like her. She is now 70 years old. It was disconcerting, and exciting. I looked at her picture again, and said, “I could now look like Genevieve Bujold.” My own was not the only youthful beauty in a faded state.
I took my husband to see the film, because he spent time in the Northeast Kingdom as a child, but mostly because I had to see Genevieve Bujold. The photo from the newspaper was spot on. Genevieve, hair under a cap, with wrinkles in her face, looking not like the cinematic Anne who had beguiled Henry.
Lush cinematography, beautiful lighting, this film was mesmerizing. And so was Genevieve. The age never left from her face, but after watching her for fifteen minutes or so, I leaned over to my husband and whispered, “I am a little disappointed. She is still quite beautiful.” And then she removed her cap and let down a head of gorgeous silver hair. Mon dieu! This was beauty at 70. As for me, I am going with that.