Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Little Girl Bossed

There are a lot of things that I want to share my love for with regards to Joe Wright's Hanna - Cate Blanchett's teeth-sucking mama goblin; The Chemical Bros' ear-jangling score; the surprising revelation of Eric Bana in dripping wet long-johns (which yes, the moment I can screen-cap this spectacle believe me I will be all up on it); Tom Hollander's Fassbenderian little piggy performance which overjoyed me at every turn - but for once instead of jumping all over the side-shows I want to give center-stage its due. 

Cuz ya know what? Saoirse Ronan is the real deal. I know, I know, where have you been, JA? She's been knocking it outta the park since day one. It's not that I've ever disliked her in anything - she's terrific in the horrible Atonement, and centered the mess that was The Lovely Bones as much as she could with palpable heartache. But what she gives us here is so different, so odd and playful and terrifying, and yet so still and very very sad all at once, that now I'm paying attention where before I was sort of indifferent. Where this could've easily drifted off into the facile camp of Kick-Ass she and Wright keep it grounded even amongst the Grimm-riddled oddities. Who'd have thought that the middle section, relatively action-free, with Hanna getting to see what a real family unit is like would end up the highlight, the passage you don't want to let go off? And yet of course that's what it ought to be. (Having Olivia Williams at the center certainly helps making it something to yearn for.) 

Alright so let's get back to the fun freak-show stuff, of which this movie indulges itself mightily. Why do I adore Tom Hollander so much? I do, I just do! Ever since he romped around in his red underpants in In The Loop I've been nursing a crush on him and now he had to go and add an insane queer creep who hangs out with hermaphrodites and costumed dwarfs in some underground club that would've scared Rainer Werner Fassbender away and dresses in Funny Games tennis whites (looking quite dashing in them short shorts too, I might add)? I'm putty in his tiny creepy hands.

And then there's Cate Blanchett, looking like the most gorgeous prop skeleton you've ever wanted to play dress-up with, flicking her teeth with her tongue and striding with haughty purpose in pencil skirts, her Southern drawl licking the consonants of her German... oh what a monstrous joy worthy of seventeen run-on sentences of this sort.

And then there's Eric Bana, who gives a fine sturdy performance as Hanna's pops but god I don't want to talk about that, I just want to swoon over the sight of him undressed, multiple times. Multiple! And yet they keep us in the dark about such matters. I had no clue going in! Don't you think I would've been there first thing if I had? All these wasted days without such sights burned into my brain. Shameful.


RJ said...

Such a good movie! I was really surprised by how much I liked it. I should have let you know about Eric Bana right after I saw it. Luc Besson and Tom Tykwer write a Grimm fairy tale.

JA said...

I did leave out the paragraph where I CHIDE ALL OF YOU FOR NOT TELLING ME ABOUT ERIC BANA. Monsters!

Easily one of the best films I've seen so far this year. So much more than I was expecting. So delightfully off-kilter.

RJ said...

I'm curious, have you ever seen Diva? ( It's a movie I like a lot, and I could definitely see a lot of it in Hanna.

RJ said...

OH AND HOW AWESOME WAS OLIVIA WILLIAMS' DAUGHTER IN THIS?! I loved that girl so much. So hilarious.

JA said...

I never have gotten to it, RJ. Onwards and upwards the queue it goes. One of the things I got to talking about regarding this movie afterward was just how referential it seemed. Like, the Fassbender stuff wasn't just a gag - I swear that the fight-scene with Eric bana is set in the same subway station that Fox and His Friends ends in. Which is just so weird, but awesome.

And yes, that girl was so hysterical. We had to look her up right after it was done.

Ilka said...

I was completely distracted by Eric Bana's hotness in this movie. Like I would just be staring at him, and then think "oh wait, what's happening in this scene again?" Distracting!!!

JA said...

Ha that totally happened to me too! Like, the several scenes after his swim are just lost to me because of it.

James said...

I agree that the film was fantastic! I wrote some thoughts on my tumblr about it (

and yeah, Bana + sopping wt longjohns = me audibly gasping in theater

James T said...

Agreed on the longjohns but I thought the movie was nothing special.
And though I always enjoy Ronan, I didn't see something more than before. I think it's mostly because of the role.