Sunday, I watched Rachel Getting Married, the movie for which Anne Hathaway got an Oscar nomination, playing a woman who gets out of rehab (which she’s been bouncing in and out of for ten years) for her sister’s wedding. Character study – Jonathan Demme directed, Bill Irwin (!!! – yes, the guy who won a McArthur “genius” grant for his clowning – didn’t realized he’d turned to straight acting) as the father – good film but pretty damn depressing. Also funny. Also a great soundtrack.
Today, I watched Get Smart, with Anne Hathaway playing Agent 99 to Steve Carrell’s bumbling Maxwell Smart (with the reliably funny Alan Arkin as the Chief). Funny movie – well-done updating of the show I loved as a kid. They did use a bunch of the catchphrases, but managed to weave them into the story, not beat you over the head with them. The updating was, as I said, very well done, in terms of the setting [HQ is accessed through the Smithsonian] and the premise [terrorists] – and there were a couple of cute cameos, like Bernie Coppell (who, alas, didn’t say “Not Craw, Craw!”).
But two more different performances from the same actress it’s pretty damn hard to imagine.
I just watched “Keeping the Faith” for about the twentieth time and remarked what a totally uncharacteristic role Edward Norton plays(if you haven’t seen it, he plays a priest who falls in love with a childhood friend, who is actually in love with Ben Stiller’s character.) It’s a very sweet, light and funny part and as much as I adore Mr. Norton, sweet, light and funny he aint.
Wow. I’ve only ever seen him play an asshole–in The Cook, the Thief…and also in Gosford Park. I can’t imagine him playing a warm fuzzy role. I’d be too afraid he was going to snap and feed me my own belly button or something.
Another “Rachel Getting Married” actor with a remarkable range is Debra Winger, who plays Hathaway’s emotionally distant, unforgiving mother in “Married” and… the role she discusses here with David Letterman.