Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Linkin' Around with You (and a minor sermon on Anne)

I'm still in the process of rolling out my year-end awards after the year's end for 2012 in film, so while I get my act together head on over to do some reading elsewhere.

If you've been reading, you know I was not completely moved by Zero Dark Thirty but I still love this piece form Nick (Cinema Romantico) in his typically passionate prose writing about a performance of the year that moved him. Take a bow Jessica. LINK

I'm not the only one wrapping up 2012 in film, Amir (Amiresque) recently published his top 20 films of the year LINK On the topic of 2012, Luke (Journalistic Skepticism) has returned to his neglected blog, hopefully for good. He publishes his top 5 films of the year. LINK And Nikhat (Being Norma Jeane) publishes her top 20. LINK Between the three they cover most of my top 10 or so. Most.

Shane (Film Actually) has a best of list of his favourite black actors and films. LINK It's not my favourite of the ten, but I'm especially glad to see Hotel Rwanda there. 2004 was overflowing with biopics, and despite the award nominations it's gone by somewhat forgotten. Unfortunately.

Meanwhile, the excellent Tim (Antagony and Ecstasy) is reviewing all the episodes of Arrested Development every other day on his blog and the writing is as sharp as usual. LINK I'm vaguely discomfited that the generally film-centric Tim has moved to television writing when my subtitled TV blog is somewhat under-siege. But not for long. Maybe.

I'm often reticent to use the word Oscar-snub but Mette (Lime Reviews and Strawberry Confessions) Snub-a-thon Blog-a-thon is an interesting concept. Anna (Defiant Success) includes some of my favourite performances of the last few years on her list LINK and Sati (Cinematic Corner) writes a lovely bit on Helena Bonham Carter's often undervalued work in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. LINK
Elsewhere, I love this short piece from Jessica (The Velvet Cafe) on Anna Karenina. "It was all about the dresses", she opines. And she's so right. LINK Glorious, glorious dresses. I'm curious to see what Jacqueline Durran does next.

To close on something, perhaps not as cheery but which has been gnawing at me for some weeks. On Sunday, Joana (For Cinephiles by a Cinefille) published an article titled "Do I Really Hate Anne Hathaway?" LINK It was a timely piece on the weird way Hathaway has moved to the most hated actor on the internet. I left a long, loggerhea induced comment which you can read at the link. I've had minor issues with Hathaway's star persona in the past but throughout this season I've been moved to reassess my feelings not only because of the onslaught of vitriol spewed her way. When a single actor dominates an awards' season the constant trips to the podium can become mildly embarrassing and Anne - I admit somewhat surprising to me - seemed generally poised and charming about the entire thing. Well, so I thought. Many other just seemed to find her more loathsome as the season went on.

After Sunday's Oscars I decided I'd sit out the aftermath of the season, wild responses for various reason on twitter and elsewhere sort of made me disinterested in doing my usual wrap-up post and I figured I'd had my fill of 2012 Oscars or Oscar related activities or winners. And then, I had the (mis)fortune to come across this article online "Why Do We Women Hate Anne Hathaway but Love Jennifer Lawrence, and it got me quite angry. LINK The article itself was not objectionable, it sought - in its way - to examine what made Hathaway so loathsome. But, it still annoyed me in a vague way I kept reaching for but not finding. Not that I'm holding Friedman's generally fine piece up for poor criticism. It was the title which really got to the root of making me, finally, realise just why the consistent move to disliking Anne Hathaway has been annoying me this season. As a performer, we don't know Anne Hathaway the so-called "true" Anne Hathaway that we want to see in some stars. I've heard many opine that Jennifer Lawrence is fabulous because she shows you (us) the "real her". Anne does not, or does not attempt to. Or does not seem to attempt to. She's charming, she's gracious, she's kind but she's always - admittedly - emanating an air of choosing her words of ensuring she's giving the public the side of herself she wants. And she's earnest, this is the most objectionable of them all.

Popular culture has seemed to long declare a war on much that is earnest and serious and there seems to be an overwhelming desire to give more credence to that which is deprecating, winking or vaguely ironic. I have my issues with that (an actual piece forthcoming). But others do not. Fair enough. If earnestness annoys you, it's a fair complain. In theory. What disgruntles me is that the illusion that this "real" Jennifer Lawrence which that actress' diffidence suggests is not as much a public projection as Anne's mannered ways. Even removing the movie-star persona from the equation - basic sociology tells us men and women are social actors and the public personas of everyone we meet is a projection. To examine both ladies from the most cynical angle, they're both actors working the room. Jennifer's projection is a more jovial one. Anne is different, but why does this seem to elicit such a comprehensive resentment? It troubles me not because I love Hathaway, she's a fair actress I like some of the times but not most of the times. And I don't deign to say that as a man I know how women should be treated, but the Anne issue worries me because male and females alike seem as intent on impugning her for specious reasons. It's why I link to Friedman's article, despite my minor issues with it closes on the right note with an apt quote from Len Dunham, of all people. With all the truly objectionable things in the world, we're lambasting Anne Hathaway why? ...For not reacting to her success in the right way? What's the right way? Is the Lawrence way the only right way? Or the only right way for a woman? What if Anne's reaction to her entire Oscar run had been one of disinterest like Joaquin Phoenix? Would we cheer her on for being original and not bending to the ways of the Academy machine? I can only assume, but I suspect no. Kristin Stewart, admittedly not the talent that Phoenix is, is constantly lambasted for not being appreciative of her success. So, we lambaste Anne for being too earnest, Kristen for being too sullen... is the dictum that all young actresses must carry themselves with the irreverence of Lawrence, or else...? So much for celebrating the difference of women.

Apologies for the quasi-lecture, but as I said, it's been wrangling at me. You can counteract my sermonising by heading to those links above. I'd love some input, though, do I overreach with my issues on the burgeoning Anne Hathaway kerfuffle?


MovieNut14 said...

Thanks for the linkage!

Nick Prigge said...

"So, we lambaste Anne for being too earnest, Kristen for being too sullen." This! It's just culture now. No matter what anyone does, they get criticized. I'd actually started working on a post today defending Anne but it was just all too exhausting. I didn't want to deal with it.

I love Jennifer Lawrence, I love Anne Hathaway - hell, I even dig Kristen Stewart's social awkwardness. I mean, I respect social awkwardness. Good for her. Good for all of them.

Oh, and thanks for the link.

Nikhat said...

Thanks for the link!

Joanna said...

Thanks for the link!

Joanna said...

Also, I’ve come to the conclusion that because of the Internet, we have entered into a new level of fandom culture. It is both fascinating and terrifying.