Jeremy Irons has played some serious douchebags: Scar, Claus von Bülow, Simon Gruber, the ultimate caricature of the 1% in Margin Call, the cauldron in Once Upon a Halloween (oh, did you miss that one?). The point is, it’s a little disconcerting to see him tromping around a Lebanese dump in rubber boots and a sad little straw hat, empathizing with a Palestinian refugee who picks trash for a living. But just because he’s so good at being villainous onscreen doesn’t mean that he can’t have his concerned celebrity cause movie. And the cause Irons chose is garbage.
Trashed, a documentary directed by Candida Brady and executive-produced by and starring Irons (with a score by Vangelis), looks at the toxic effects an endless worldwide buildup of waste has on our health and environment. To be honest, I kind of wish such a powerhouse of film-industry talent had tackled a slightly more cutting-edge or original issue -- I mean, Jeremy Irons’ voice over a Vangelis theme is a surefire way to lend gravity to any situation, and it just seems a bit of a waste (ahem) to use such drama to approach what I see as a pretty broad, old-school environmental issue: We throw too much shit away! We should recycle instead! Yeah, and did you know there’s a hole in the ozone layer?