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.


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