Friday, December 10, 2010

Jeremy Renner. Kirsten Dunst. It's "All Good..."

Here's some worthwhile reading today: a top ten list from Tom Shone. It's a performance list rather than a movie list and it's crowned by Jeremy Renner's dangerous ex-con in The Town. Shone goes so far as to compare Renner's gift to Steve McQueen's which is an interesting comparision but begs the question: Will Renner start getting major lead roles after his back to back successes with The Town and The Hurt Locker? Or has The Town - Hollywood not Boston - already fixated on him as a major supporting character actor? Either way, continued employment is assured which is a very good thing.

Shone prefaces his list claiming that he doesn't believe in "great acting" at least not the way it's commonly defined by the Oscars.

But then he goes on to name 10 performances half of which are in the hunt for nominations (ha!). I think he's out of his gourd when it comes to his take on which Mark Ruffalo performance is awards-worthy but maybe he's on to something with his other expectation switcheroo (Sam Rockwell).

Finally, I absolutely love his single sentence description of Kirsten Dunst's work in the mystery All Good Things.

Kirsten Dunst's dawning horror in All Good Things felt like a rip in the side of her heart.
I can't vouch for the movie (which is...uh, unwieldly) but she's marvelous in it. In one devastating sequence you can practically watch her age ten years without the help of makeup effects. Her Supporting Actress Oscar campaign has just recently started to heat up. The timing might be a few weeks late and the film has a definite obstacle in that other Ryan Gosling December picture which is easy to confuse with this one. [SPOILERS] In both movies, which never should have been released in such quick succession, Ryan grows from sexy young man to a complete wreck (aging makeup!) and his courtship with a gorgeous blonde (happy) results in marriage (miserable). It doesn't stop there; Blue Valentine and All Good Things both have doomed pet dogs and abortion subplots! [/SPOILERS]

Kiki has been so good so often (The Virgin Suicides, Bring It On, Marie Antoinette, Eternal Sunshine, The Cat's Meow, Crazy/Beautiful) that it's easy to root for one day seeing her in an Oscar lineup. Still, it may take a turning point or stepping stone performance to renew media love and interest in her before that can actually happen. Maybe All Good Things is just that.



Bailey said...

Yay. I love Kirsten. She is all the way up there with Christina Ricci as one of Hollywood's most woefully underappreciated and underused actresses. La Dunst has been in the game since childhood and has turned out a lot of great comedic and dramatic performances - no small feat. And I know you only forgot to mention her in Drop Dead Gorgeous!!! My friends and I still do the Amber Atkins every once in awhile. Sigh. Plus she's so pretty, and never fixed the endearing snaggle. ♥.

adam k. said...

I don't think she can get enough traction to bump HBC, Adams, Leo, Weaver, Wiest, or Steinfeld, not with a movie nobody seems to like. It's already gonna be tough to get that list of 6 down to 5...

Volvagia said...

I watched Iron Man 2 twice. My take on the performances each time.

1st time:

Mickey Rourke: B+
Paltrow: B
Sam Rockwell: B-
Everyone else: C

2nd time:

Rockwell: A- (I do wish they had written Hammer to be competent.)
Rourke: B
Paltrow: B
RDJ: B- (and I wish they hadn't decided to get rid of his idiosyncratic taste in music. The coolest human moment of the original was Stark repairing his car to Institutionalized. Club music is not fighting music. It should have been Seven Nation Army, or something similar, blaring on the soundtrack when he fought Rhodie.)
Samuel L. Jackson: C-
Everyone else: Still C

Borjatdl said...

Hi Nath,

Borja from Spain. We share the love for Kirsten Dunst, the most underrated actress of her generation (that sadly is full of overrated actresses...).

I´m glad to read the good reviews she is receiving for the movie and I think is only the first step. I can´t hardly wait to see her work with Von Trier.

Anyway, I don´t think she will be nominated by this... the movie is no receiving enough attention and is true that will be overshadowed by Blue Valentine.

If only Michelle is nominated at least. I love her too...

P.S. Sorry by my English... once again.

Lucky said...

You know, I do like Kirsten and hope she gets more opportunities like this, but I can't say I've found her work in Marie Antoinette or The Virgin Suicides particularly good, and I really like both movies.

Cluster Funk said...

@Bailey - Bless you for the DDG shout-out. With the exception of Denise Richards (why, God, why?!), the movie is so superbly cast and subversively brilliant. (Bonus points to Dunst for an unwavering Minnesota accent, including and especially the A-Z U.S. states sequence.)

"And I'm Amber Atkins for WAZB news. Good night."

Bia said...

I'm rooting for her and Mila Kunis to breakthrough the supporting race. But Kirsten is so overdue for some awards love.

Philip said...

She's always been one of my favorite actresses, she's severely underrated. If she could get some awards attention and at least a little Oscar Buzz, I would die of happiness. It makes me happy to know that she was superb in All Good Things.

cinephile said...

Interesting list, because it's finally something not-so-mainstream. I should have a second look at Renner's performance... Because when I watched The Town he seemed good and maybe the best performance of that cast - but nothing that remarkable. But better an individual Renner mention than an obscure ensemble award for the whole cast (Washington DC Critics?! NBR?!?).
Nice to see Moore being mentioned somewhere - I thought Bening was slightly better, but the comparison of Keaton and Moore is interesting.
The only thing that is really mind-boggling is the mention of Ruffalo in Shutter Island. He was as brilliant and heartbreaking and relaxed and funny in The Kids Are All Right as he was totally wasted as DiCaprio's stooge in Shutter Island.

Glenn said...

Looking forward to seeing this performance, but not the film. I think it'll go direct-to-DVD here though like so many of these films have done lately (Solitary Man, The Extra Man and so on. Movies that you can sell easier on DVD rather than fork out the cash for a cinema release that won't make anything).


Glenn -- i've only talked to two people who have seen this but i'm eager to hear some fleshed out opinions. I was baffled by Gosling (who i normally like) but Dunst was aces. Hope it leads to new adult roles.

Sara said...

She's supporting in this? I would've assumed lead.

Kiki is, I think, exactly as appreciated as she should be. She's not, imo, the best of her generation or even in the top five. Which is absolutely fine, I mean that. But she isn't the sort of actress that can transform herself; she has a tendency to play either chipper girls, or chipper girls who become depressed. Her lack or range works against her. She's great in comedies but they don't write many (or any) of those for actresses her age. And then you have to factor in her personal issues (rehab) and her competition (from multiple countries). (As there been such a diverse selection of young actresses in recent decades? Aussies, Canadians, Frenchwomen, Brits, etc.)


Sara -- it's one of those borderline cases.

she's absent from one entire act of the film's three (or so) acts and the film is framed around the Gosling character.

it's an acceptable call... (though i'm sure if Best Actress hadn't been so strong this year and they had announced they were campaigning her for lead nobody would have thought twice about it. they would have just thought oh yes, lead.)

rosengje said...

I think this movie is a mess, but I loved the performances. The scene in which Kirsten Dunst calls Ryan Gosling and begs him to let her go is surprisingly emotionally affecting. Ryan Gosling: a great actor even over the phone.