On the surface Maria is a fading Hollywood actress suffering beautifully in beautiful surroundings. Beneath is a tangibly lost and unforgettable character. This is no vain existential crisis. Didion wrote this with pitch-perfect precision.
Benny called for a round of Cuba Libres and I gave him some chips to play for me and went to the ladies’ room and never came back. Somewhere out beyond Hollywood, hollowed-out actress Maria Wyeth’s life plays out in a numbing routine of perpetual freeway driving. In her early thirties, divorced from her husband, dislocated from friends, anesthetized to pain and pleasure, Wheth is a woman who has run out of both desires and motives – the epitome of a generation made ill by too much freedom.