Monday, September 15, 2008

The Ladies of Twilight

I've held out as long as I could, really I have. I tend not to get caught up in huge fanboy hysterias, whether in films (Superhero movies, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise) or books (I've still only read the first Harry Potter book and that was about eight years ago), but after my friends' relentless insistence, I've finally started reading Twilight, the Stephenie Meyer novel whose readers are growing more rabidly fanatic by the minute. I'm about 100 pages in and I must say that it's a very quick and addictive read. It's not especially well-written-- I hate how the author keeps refering to Edward's "beautiful" face over and over again; why doesn't she rub it in our faces a little more that he's better looking than we will ever be?-- but, like the Gossip Girl novels, they are a ton of fun and if it gets teens reading, who cares? Plus, after falling in love with Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet a couple of months ago, I've become addicted to stories of teens falling in love for the first time but not being able to express it fully. Twilight, so far at least, has been fulfilling my craving beautifully.

As I'm sure all of you are aware, Twilight is being turned into a film slated for release at the end of November, I think (It was December 12th, but someone told me that it got moved up because of the Harry Potter delay). I was looking through the cast on IMDb last night and, although the men are supposed to be the main attraction here, the women are the ones I'm most looking forward to. Sure, my new love Cam Gigandet is there (although I positively hate that blonde dreadlocked rodent on his head that's a sorry- and ugly- excuse for a wig) and Robert Pattinson is pretty cute, although, since I've never seen a Harry Potter film, I have no clue as to whether or not he has any talent (I kinda wish they had taken a chance and cast Gaspard Ulliel becuase, well, he is simply dreamy and who would mind being bitten by him). The ladies of Twilight are where it's at, I'm afraid (not that you should be surprised- I am a devout actressexual after all). So here's a rundown of who I'm looking forward to see come November:

Kristen Stewart
You may recognize her from her brilliant, subdued work as the (kinda) romantic interest of Emile Hirsch in Into the Wild (of which, Vertigo's Psycho has written a beautiful and insightful reading of) but I first fell in love with her in the surprisingly great Lifetime adaptation of Lindsay Halse Anderson's Speak. The role was tricky to pull off- you try making a rape victim in a Lifetime movie look like something we've never seen before- but she did it and did it well. Add to that her impressive performance in last year's slightly underrated In the Land of Women and Stewart is quickly becoming one to watch. Even from the first 20 pages I can tell that she is perfectly cast as Bella, the silently detached narrator who is attracted to the mysterious Edward. Hopefully, her performance will bring her to a wider audience but I'm not holding my breath since teens don't like/understand subtle. Why the hell else would they sit through six Saw movies and all those Disaster Movie clones? At least us indie movie followers will always have and appreciate her.

Nikki Reed
Most may say I'm crazy, and I've only seen the movie once many years ago, but I think it should have been Nikki Reed, and not Holly Hunter, who should have gotten that Oscar nomination for Thirteen. Hell, she should have won the damn thing. It's not that Hunter is bad (of course not, she Holly fucking Hunter) but I was so much more involved and interested in Reed's storyline. Her character was always an enigma, we never really understood what she did or why, and it was interesting watching her lead Evan Rachel Wood down a downward path of destruction. Since she's so close with director Catherine Hardwicke (they co-wrote the script to Thirteen), it's no surprise that she was cast in this film. Her character, Rosalie, hasn't done anything in the book yet, but I'm hoping she gets to do something juicy so that Reed will have something to do in the film.

Anna Kendrick
Anna who? I know you probably haven't heard of her and that's quite a shame because she's a truly remarkable talent. She first caught my eye in Camp (although I didn't know it was her at the time) with her beyond-her-years take on the "The Ladies Who Lunch," but it was in the small indie Rocket Science that I realized she has what it takes to be a great actress. As the manipulative perfectionist who recruits the stuttering Reece Thompson to be her debate partner (ultimately for diabolical reasons), Kendrick was good enough to make my Top 10 Best Supporting Actress performances of 2007 and apparently the Independent Spirit Awards also agreed, giving her a surprise nomination last year. She plays Jessica in Twilight and thusfar she hasn't been given much to do other than talk Bella's ear off and pine after Mike so I'm hoping her role gets expanded in the movie and we get to see another great performance from her.


J.D. said...

I have never wanted to punch a girl hard in the face more than Kendrick in Rocket Science.


Dame James Henry said...

But that's the point, I think, and why I believe Kendrick is so brilliant in Rocket Science. You're supposed to hate her (by the end, anyways) and boy does she make you do that.

J.D. said...

Definitely. Except, instead of making me think she was brilliant (I did really like her), it made me like Thompson more? Like, how the hell could he take that shit?! I wish Best Actor last year was less crowded for me so I could nominate him. I loved him.

Dame James Henry said...

I loved Reece Thompson, too! So much, that if I ever wrote a movie about my life, I would want him to play me. He has so much potential and I can't wait to see what he does next.

Anonymous said...

Well, Robert Pattinson has talent, I saw him in How to be and he's amazing. He's not just a pretty face a la Hayden Christensen