Readers of this blog will know that I have a daffy affection for Anne Hathaway. Of course, I share that with a lot of men in this world. But even I'm surprised that her performance in Jonathan Demme's Rachel Getting Married (nee: Dancing with Shiva) is generating some Oscar buzz. But looking at the trailer you can kinda see why.
When it comes to Ms. Hathaway, I have the presumable advantage of having never seen a Princess Diaries movie. The first time that I watched her onscreen was Brokeback Mountain, without recognizing who she was, and she just seemed like a star in the making to me. I saw a stunning beauty, one who could hold your attention in her scenes, who did a good job conveying the aging and development of a minor character being checked in on over the course of twenty years, and who nailed her one big payoff scene - a tense phone conversation with Heath Ledger late in the film. I became convinced that she would one day be the biggest female star in the world. If she hadn't bailed out on Knocked Up, I probably would have been right already.
The box office of her filmography is pretty amazing, considering that, other than last year's Becoming Jane, her films routinely cross the $100m mark. However, to really become a star, I think an actor has to do something completely unexpected. a role that makes people see you differently. For an actress still trying to outrun her image as a Disney teen queen, this is particularly vital. Watching this trailer, it looks like Demme has given Hathaway a lot of room to be something that nobody would expect, and it looks like he's being rewarded. Anne could really use a buzz film, and it looks like this might be it.
I'm just a little surprised that Hathaway might actually beat her The Devil Wears Prada co-star Emily Blunt to an Oscar nomination (although it's too early to be talking about these things too seriously). Blunt is enormously talented, and I would have expected her to get there first.