Saturday, 16 January 2010

Supporting Actress Blog-a-thon: Kristin Chenoweth

This post is part of StinkyLulu’s Supporting Actress Blog-a-thon. Head over and feast on the posts.
Into Temptation was released earlier in the year. Few saw it. I don’t doubt that ten years from now few will have seen it then, either. It happens to many films; some deserve it, many don’t. That’s Hollywood. I can’t be certain if Into Temptation is definitely a part of the latter. In fact, when I reviewed the film I had no substantial qualms about the C Grade I gave it. It’s not a perfect film by any means; unfortunately the inadequacies of the film shroud two good performances. The lead performance of Jeremy Sisto and the supporting turn that is the subject of this write-up.
Kristin Chenoweth as Linda Salerno

Into Temptation’s advertising [minimal at best] would have us believe that Chenoweth is the co-lead. It’s not hard to see why. In a cast of no-names she’s the only real ‘star’. I suppose if you’re the type that found Rachel Weisz to be lead in The Constant Gardener, you’d find Chenoweth as lead here; but I digress. Her character is a prostitute who comes to confession after some years. She’s committing suicide in a few days and wants a final confession. In those first moments, we see as much as her as we do of Catherine Zeta-Jones in the first few minutes of Chicago – a hand, breasts, shoulders, but not much. What ensues is the priest [naturally] trying to find this woman and during this we get snippets of Chenoweth’s associations with a few people as she leaves goodbye notes for them.
The film is comfortable subjugating Kristin’s Joan to a mere plot point in the awakening of Jeremy Sisto’s priest and with a poster that suggests equal merits for the two, it’s a bit annoying. Linda is obviously a troubled young girl, and the flashbacks of her as a child only seem like the tip of the iceberg. Certainly, a suicidal prostitute is just a little too much of a cliché for its own good. For many scenes Kristin walks around silent, a look alone must convey the anguish she feels, and she does it beautifully. In a scene she says she planned on writing a suicide note, but then realised no one would see it. It's a depressing thought, but her delivery is what makes it so profound.


Into Temptation is a bit too trite for it’s own good and Kristin’s casting is a bit strange. A four foot eleven prostitute? Where have I heard that joke? To the director’s credit, her height isn’t elucidated. But to the writer’s discredit, Kristin is given little to do. However, that’s what makes the performance all the better though. So many women get served good roles, Kristin must work to make Linda memorable. Jeremy Sisto is admirable, but the entire film is waiting for that substantial piece of acting that Kristin gets to do at the end. And it’s a double edged sword. She does it well, no doubt; excellent even. But the writing is almost contrived that it could easily have gone awry in another’s hands. Luckily, it’s not another. It’s Kristin. If anything Into Temptation has convinced me that Kristin Chenoweth is capable of more than that bubbly effervescence we’ve come to love. Unfortunately, it’s one of those good performances that nobody saw. Or will ever see for that matter. Sucks.
I shall return later in the evening with two more entries.


Nigel Maruva Chikukwa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nigel Maruva Chikukwa said...

I will watch this now.

I'm a sucka for surprise turns that reveal an actor's versatility genes.

Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married).
Tobey McGuire (Brothers)

The list goes ooon.

joe burns said...

I wonder if she'll make your Top 5 for Best Supporting Actress. Did you see my post about Anna Kendrick?

Nigel Maruva Chikukwa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nigel Maruva Chikukwa said...

that previous comment (cocoon of self-banishment) was for Joe Burns' article about Anna Kendrick.

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately tbanks to I confuse things at times.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Now I need to see it, just for the performance. Thanks!

Ryan T. said...

I hadn't even heard of this movie until I read about it hear, so thanks! I'm such a big Kristin Chenoweth fan that I will see a bad-ish movie for her. I mean come on, I manage to sit through all of the Critics Choice Awards!

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge Kristin Chenoweth fan, and I had heard of this movie before. Now that I've heard how amazing her performance in it is (although, she's always amazing), I will definitely watch it. Thanks!