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Charlize Theron and the World Cup

Posted by Wesley Morris  December 4, 2009 03:17 PM

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It's entirely possible that I'm one of those sad, sad people who sees an image of Charlize Theron and searches for something to do with it. But having watched her announce next year's World Cup brackets this afternoon in her native South Africa, I was struck by her joy. She's never been that automatically thrilled in any movie she's ever made, and seeing her so excited, excited me -- that and the fact that the U.S. managed to avoid the Group of Death, which, in 2010, appears to be Group G.

Theron managed to maintain her elation even as it appears that South Africa may not make it to the second round (Mexico! Ireland! Uruguay!). But I've also seen Clint Eastwood's "Invictus," about the 1995 rugby World Cup, which the South African team improbably won. And, yes, I know about the match-fixing scandals, so there's that possibility, too. But cynics, honestly: It's the World Cup!

Anyway, I wonder whether Theron is ever considered for roles in movies like "Up in the Air" or "The Proposal." The latter would have been just as execrable with her name above the title, but still. My fear is that if she's boxed herself out of lightless and fluff for professional seriousness, there may be no getting back in. Right now she's in "The Road," dealing with what to do with herself at world's end. Earlier this year, she was a dour slattern in "The Burning Plain." Early in this afternoon's proceedings, Theron cordially planted one on FIFA's Jerome Valcke and the crowd went wild with a combination of envy and unfamiliarity. The hilarious audible grumbling suggests people really need to get used to seeing her be affectionate.

Still, if I can't have her, at least occasionally, being chased by George Clooney or, heaven forbid, Ryan Reynolds, I'll grudgingly take her cheering for her home nation's chase of the World Cup.

The photo, by the way, is by Laurence Griffiths for Getty Images, and the gentleman to Theron's left is Valcke.

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

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