Whenever I see the word "piker" in a mass media print publication, a charge of electricity runs through my body. Yesterday, I came across my favorite word in Todd McCarthy's review of "The Aviator" in Daily Variety. Shockingly, it was used in reference to Katherine Hepburn.
Once the startling impact of her impersonation has subsided, the relationship successfully defines itself as a pairing of two completely self-absorbed misfits. The bond is strengthened by the rarefied air they share as two of the most famous people in the world, romanticized in a lovely "date" on Hughes' plane over Los Angeles at night and unsettled in a brilliantly funny sequence in which Hepburn takes her beau to the family compound in Connecticut, where the eccentric clan's air of self-obsessed superiority makes the famous daughter look like a piker (Frances Conroy's cameo as Mrs. Hepburn is indelible).
If Kate Hepburn is a piker, I'm honored to call myself one. Ah, who am I kidding? I've always been a proud piker.