The music video for Paul McCartney’s new song ‘My Valentine’ was released last night and it features include Natalie Portman, Johnny Depp, and American Sign Language. The video is done in black and white which really fits the song’s understated, melancholy feel. Both actors use ASL to sign the song’s simple lyrics, though Natalie pulls off her role as signer a little better than Johnny.
The video starts with two close ups of Natalie’s face; the first she looks reflective, the second a little sad. As she signs the lyrics she also mouths the words, which I think helps bring out a slightly larger range of emotions than just sad (which is good, because despite the slow dark mood of the music the lyrics are hopeful).
The first close up of Johnny’s face, on the other hand, made me jump. A little sad, a little pissed, a little deeply depressed, I’m not sure if he’s going to break down sobbing or come through the screen and beat me up. He also choose not to mouth the lyrics, which is certainly a valid choice for someone who’s signing but just makes his expression seem more menacing. It’s a relief when he starts playing his guitar, not only because the close ups of the strings look fantastic in black and white, but also because his face finally relaxes.
The song is lovely and the video is a good fit, but I think Johnny Depp really has been hanging out with Tim Burton for too long. He can’t get the spooky look out if his eyes.