In some spooky cosmic alignment of stars, so to speak, this weekend's releases feature the two actresses for whom I'll admit being somewhat in the tank - Anne Hathaway and Gillian Anderson. I mean, I would never, ever write that they did well when they did not, but I do take special pleasure in seeing them succeed. The good news is that they are both making me look good.
Hathaway is drawing Oscar talk for Rachel Getting Married. I've yet to see it, as it doesn't arrive in Dallas for a couple of weeks. So I can't say either way. I'll say more when it gets here.
One or two negative critical notes aside, Anderson has drawn praise for a 10 to 15 minute support role in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People , with words such as "divine," "scene-stealer," "a vicious treat," etc. Her work since 2000's The House of Mirth (for which she came close to winning the New York Film Critic Circle's Best Actress award) has been generally hailed as very good to outstanding - this one, the BBC's Bleak House, The Last King of Scotland. Even The X-Files: I Want to Believe is one of the few times so far this year that I've seen an actress own a film, even if a lot of critics and audiences think it might not be much to own. All of which raises that ultimate question about her - how does a world-famous sex symbol with genuine acting talent coming off a bravura turn nearly disappear? How does Eva Mendes keep getting roles while Anderson sits in London collecting X-Files royalties?
I talk about her now, because you never know when you'll have the next opportunity. Her career is a riddle, one that hopefully is now moving toward better things. But the work has always been good.