Sunday, March 14, 2010

Maggie & Mo

Maggie Gyllenhaal gets very excited about dancing with Madonna...

The video is not embeddable despite its "code" suggesting otherwise so here's a link.

This anecdote is adorable because one should always get excited about dancing with Madonna. I shared it because I really need to rekindle my love for Maggie G. I was just really disheartened by that Crazy Heart performance of hers, first Oscar nomination aside.
I knew what the risks were with' I took 'em.
But the troubles didn't begin there. Immediately before Crazy Heart I felt she was grotesquely judgemental of her character in Away We Go and that's a major turnoff for me with any actor. Inhabit them, don't judge them. Before that she was to Katie Holmes "Rachel Dawes" as The Dark Knight box office was to Batman Begins gross... which is to say quite an improvement! But still... way better than Katie Holmes? That's not saying so very much. No, Maggie hasn't truly wowed us since 2006 when she wowed us several times in a row within a very busy year (the highlight being her electric dangerous work in Sherrybaby). Where is that electric spark that her performances used to have? I don't want this new mellow Maggie. Want the earlier incarnation! Am I worrying for nothing? Talk me down in the comments.

Pssst. In a couple of days we're doing a countdown of actresses whose work we should look forward to in this new decade. Should Maggie be on the list?


Katie said...

Ummm, I'm seeing clips of Avatar in Spanish.

adam k. said...

My guess is that marriage and motherhood have mellowed her out. Makes sense. But frankly, I was never as big on her as I was on Jake. Then again, I haven't seen most of her "acclaimed" performances... partially cause I don't have much of an interest.

That said, I didn't dislike her in Crazy Heart. It wasn't her best work, since that character didn't play to her strengths per se, but I thought she did okay with it. Would much rather have seen Morton nab that oscar spot, but what can you do.

And I don't see how she could've done much more with the Away We Go hippie. It was a caricature in the script, and she played it just how it was written basically. I guess if you're a big fan, you expect more, but I kinda just took it as it was.

I guess I haven't been particularly disappointed with her lately since I never really loved her much in the first place.

Michael said...

I would definitely put Maggie on the list. She has got to give at least two or three interesting performances in the next decade you would think.

R-Co said...

Yeah, I'm seeing clips of Avatar in spanish also...

I haven't seen Crazy Heart, but kind of agree that she hasn't done anything that electric in a while, though I do love her and can forgive her, probably eternally. I hope she pulls something big out soon, though.

Arkaan said...

Depends on how long the list is. 25 or less? Maybe not. 50? Then yes.

I'm the reverse of adam. Maggie impressed me more profoundly than Jake. Haven't seen Crazy Heart or Away we Go, though.

txtcritic said...

I really don't think the judgment of her character was her fault in "Away We Go." Every single supporting character in that movie was written to make the protagonists feel better about themselves. Allison Janney and Jim Gaffigan didn't fare any better.

City_Of_lights said...

I didn't even know she was in "Away We Go"...haven't seen it yet obviously.

I'd give Maggie a firm maybe on the would I want to see her make the list question. I don't hate her, don't love her. I guess what I'm saying is if she never made another movie I wouldn't be bothered by it. Maybe my problem is the first thing I associate with her is "Secretary" and I didn't like that movie at all. That surprised me because I love "Fur".

Lucky said...

Yeah, I'm more of a Maggie fan than Jake's. Not that he's not a good actor.

I love Maggie, but I don't think she has anything exciting to show us. I'd love being wrong, but I just think she's achieved most that she'll ever achieve already.

RADS,UK said...

What is this video supposed to be anyway???

James T said...

Actresses of this decade:

Evan Rachel Wood
Carey Mulligan
Anne Hathaway
Saoirse Ronan
Keira Knightley

This post depressed me because I imagined the decade ending and I realized how old I will be at that point :(

James T said...

If I wanted to get wild, I'd say that the 2020 decade will belong to Saoirse.

James T said...

Is is weird that Scarlett Johansson didn't even cross my mind?

Cluster Funk said...

What Adam K. said. Motherhood seems to have had a neutralizing effect on Maggie's live-wire acting style like it did on Angelina. When the latter -- whom I used to L-O-V-E -- said she would no longer do nudity even if legitimately warranted by character/script, I knew we lost her. Let's hope that fate doesn't befall Maggie, too.

Unknown said...

Actresses to look forward to in the 2010s (in alphabetical order, not
necessarily breakthroughs either):

Abigail Breslin - If she stays she's best suited: drama. Oscar nomination or not, the girl is not gifted in comedy
Sandra Bullock - I expect her to make more "serious" movies following her Oscar win
Dakota Fanning - She has had TONS of strong roles, but she needs the right film. Could The Runaways be a stepping stone???
Maggie Gyllenhaal - She finally got recognized by the Academy, arguably out of nowhere. She'll have a good decade I think
Carey Mulligan - Kate Winslet 2.0
Ellen Page - She hasn't lived up to her promise in Juno, but I think she could very easily win the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Crisco Commercial
Mo'Nique - She has the rights to the story of Hattie McDaniel. Something tells me she'll star in it
Saoirse Ronan - Definitely talented, but I feel she might need to build up her credibility a tad bit more
Kristen Stewart - After The Twilight Saga is over and done with - or maybe even before that - I expect her to take some baity roles.
Evan Rachel Wood - Maybe...

Some others, too, but these are the main ones I'm thinking right now

mrripley said...

A total unknown plus the always will be's! bullock,streep,diaz,johansson,kidman,cruz and roberts

Peggy Sue said...

Count on her. She's good.

I hated almost every single character in "Away We Go" so I can really blame her and I really liked her in "Crazy Heart" and I'm so glad she got nominated.

notanotherblog said...

Just saw Crazy Heart. She only had one good scene. The rest of the movie made it look like Jeff Bridges' character had her on his fingernail, which isn't her fault at all.

And while we're at actresses of the next decade:

Abbie Cornish
Dakota Fanning
Rebecca Hall
Anne Hathaway
Saoirse Ronan
Zoe Saldana
Kristen Stewart
Michelle Williams
Evan Rachel Wood

And probably never gonna happen, but:

Hiam Abbas
Romola Garai
Olivia Williams

notanotherblog said...

P.s. I love Mo'Nique now, and I'm nto sure if the kids remember what Hattie McDaniel looks like, but I don't think the former is a good fit for the latter. Might I suggest Cleo King, if she has the chops.

And someone give Meagan Good a movie for God's sake.

Anonymous said...

Seriously,she is HORRIBLE in The Dark Knight.It doesn't feel right for her to be playing Rachel Dawes,not to mention she has zero chemistry with Christian Bale.Katie Holmes is way better in that role.

notanotherblog said...

I kinda liked her in TDK. She was this ray of optimism, she seemed very passionate about her job and looked like she's learning new things on the way...

FrenchGirl said...

i like her in "away we go".She may be a hippie caricature but she's assumed and funny(for me)
For "dark knight",Nolan isn't reputed for his female characters and he typecasts much his actors and characters.
I can understand her nod for "crazy heart" because Bridges and her ,it works as couple.
It's more an image trouble!

FrenchGirl said...

and if the character is less good-writing,all an actor can do is about his appeal!

Bryan said...

Maggie should definitely be on your list, Nat. Anyone who can pull off Secretary gets kudos from me.

Thomas said...

I'm not sure that anyone could have played Maggie's Away We Go character any other way. At least, not any less of a caricature. Wasn't that what all of the supporting characters were like?