It's safe to say that there are few people given less genuine respect in the Hollywood system than pretty girls.

Sure, they're given money and fame frequently, and sometimes for no reason other than how they look, but respect?  That's a whole different kind of currency, and that's where pretty girls often come up short.

You can see it in the headlines about them.  You can see it in the roles they are offered.  You can see it in the way they're churned through, given a few shots at things before they're replaced by the newer younger model.  And it really underlines the way Hollywood treats pretty people as a commodity, not as people.

Blake Lively has taken her fair share of critical abuse and then some.  She's also enjoyed some really warm and encouraging words about her work in "The Town."  I don't know her TV work at all, so I can only judge her by the films I've seen her in, and while I thought she was fine in "The Town," it's not a great role to judge anyone by.  It's too brief.  In a much larger role in "Green Lantern," I didn't care for her work at all, but that may well be because I think the film is a mess and the script a sham.

For me, the deciding moment came during "Savages."  I wrote about why I liked her work in my review, but I could also say that that I really became sold on her performance as I interviewed her because I realized that the person in that film is not at all the person I spoke to during the film's press day at The Four Seasons.  She didn't remotely strike me as the same kind of person as O, and I walked away from our encounter impressed at just how completely I bought her in the film, and how she embodied a type of person I've met plenty of times here in Los Angeles.



I hope the eventual Blu-ray release of the film includes the scenes she shot with Uma Thurman playing her mother.  That's one aspect of the novel that I missed in the film, although I understand why it was cut.  I'd just like to see their work together and see what facets it adds to O.

Overall, I'm convinced now that Lively can be quite good given the right material, and I look forward to seeing how future filmmakers choose to use her.

"Savages" opened today in theaters everywhere.