I just saw an Oscar-worthy performance, but . . .

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Reuben, Dec 29, 2001.

  1. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    . . . the film won't get any nominations. Charlotte Gray is Cate Blanchett's first lead role since The Gift, and she is the main reason to see this Gillian Armstrong film, which is now playing in L.A. and New York. It's a period piece, sumptuously photographed, about a woman from Scotland who, because she is fluent in French, becomes a British spy in Nazi-occupied France.
    Charlotte (referred to by her cover name "Dominique" throughout most of the film) has many motives for volunteering for such dangerous work. She feels an attachment to France and wants to help free it, but she's also trying to find her lover, a British pilot missing in action. On her first mission, however, she finds herself drawn into circumstances she hadn't anticipated, and the story is about her choices in the face of events that are both deeply personal and, at the same time, far too big for any one person to affect except in the smallest ways. You could debate for a long time whether Charlotte's final resolution to her French adventure is a futile gesture or a triumph of human decency against all odds.
    Charlotte Gray will have a hard time finding an audience. Despite appearances, it isn't a war film, and it isn't an espionage film. It's about Charlotte's inner life, and the only reason the film works is because Blanchett is able to show it in minute detail in her bearing, her gestures and the tiniest inflections of her voice. As an actress, she's always been a chameleon who disappears into her characters; here, she's playing someone who has to do the same thing, at grave personal risk. As things turn out, Charlotte isn't a particularly good spy, but it's for the very reasons that impelled her to take the job -- she feels for the people around her and can't operate with the detachment needed to "play the game" (her British contact, a whiny civil servant through and through, has the right "professional" attitude, even when he's drunk).
    The film has interesting supporting performances from Billy Crudup (another chameleon actor) as Charlotte's French contact and the great stage actor Michael Gambon as his father. It's worth seeing, but don't expect a rousing war epic.
    M.
     
  2. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Michael, thanks for the heads-up! Cate Blanchette is one of my favorite actresses so I'll keep an eye out for this!
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    If anyone cares, Cate just recently had a baby, so it might be a while before she's behind the camera doing the acting thing.
     
  4. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    She was in the Lord of the Rings (well, the first one at least) so if she is in either of the other two films in the series, she won't need to act because she already did.
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Blanchett's performance in Lord of the Rings is fine, but the role barely scratches the surface of what makes her an actress worth watching. For that, you need to see The Shipping News, where her part is quite small, or Charlotte Gray. And as Patrick pointed out, that may be it for a while.
    (BTW, Patrick, the acting thing gets done in front of the camera. It's the directing thing that happens behind it. [​IMG])
    M.
     
  6. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

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    Michael,
    If you've ever meet me, you will quickly discover dying passion for Cate Blanchett as an actress and a human being. Not only is she the most beautiful woman I have EVER seen, but she puts 110% into everything she does, even the not-so-good films (Bandits, Pushing Tin). I could just watch her for days.
    When I keep talking on HTF about the cuties like Keira Knightley, Mandy Moore, etc, they never hold a candle to my gal Cate. Andrew Upton has made me one jealous man!
    Anyway. Charlotte Gray is very high on my list to see once it hits Vancouver (which may take a while).
    Jay
     
  7. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    Based on your recommendation Michael, I will be taking my fiance` to see this film this weekend. We saw the trailer before Gosford Park and it looks highly entertaining.
    I just hope it's a bit better than In The Bedroom.[​IMG]
     
  8. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    Looks like you're going to be right, Michael. The film itself isn't getting the best notices. Curious to see it, though, since Blanchett and Billy Crudup are usually in interesting projects.
     
  9. Mark McLeod

    Mark McLeod Second Unit

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  10. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    She is easily my favorite actress as well, she is so talented and she always turns in a brillant performance (not to mention she is gorgeous as well). She was robbed on Elizabeth damn you!.

     

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