Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Three Thumbs Up: Chloë Moretz

I reviewed Olivier Assayas' new film Clouds of Sils Maria over at The Film Experience last week during the New York Film Festival and I only briefly mentioned Chloë Moretz in there (snidely calling her "well-cast") but she came up in the comments where I had to admit, sigh, I actually think she's terrific in the movie. I mean I loved the movie as a whole so maybe she was the lucky recipient of some happy-mood spill-over, but in a couple of key scenes I actually think she, sigh, nails it. It's hard for me to say! I have struggled against her tide for quite awhile now. But here we are and I'm gonna give her some props and what better way than my most passive-aggressive post series, wherein I select three not-bad performances from folks I otherwise can't tolerate.

The Amityville Horror (2005) - Okay honestly I didn't even remember her being the little girl in this movie until I looked it up, and this is an awful awful awful remake, but anything that makes me remember Ryan Reynolds walking around with a beard on his face and not much else on the rest of his body, well I ain't gonna knock it. (Although judging from that picture Ryan might be the reason she's been forever stamped with that irritating pout, him not knowing his strength and all.)

30 Rock - This has been my go-to performance of hers to prove I'm not a hateful monster spitting in the face of a child for some time; I cringed when I found out she was showing up on one of my favorite shows but she ended up being very funny as Jack Donaghy's nemesis for the three episodes she showed up on."I just had fruit roll-ups for dinner at a strip club!"

Clouds of Sils Maria - Alright so this might be cheating, using the performance that inspired this post in the first place, but don't push me; I'm trying, dammit. And I do have things to say about her work in this movie. She really only shows up a few times but they're all vital to understanding the film, spinning our understanding of Juliette Binoche's character into a series of opposing directions - Jo-Ann Ellis is basically a Lindsay Lohan type, but every time we meet her it's some splintered side of her we're seeing (putting on a good face for her first meeting with Binoche, all the way through to the nasty indifference once the play they're working on together is on) and Chloe really made me see them all as part of one girl. The fun comes in watching the way these different aspects are filtered through Binoche - how she sees Jo-Ann each time, and how she changes because of what she sees. Anyway I really can't underestimate how vital I think Chloe's work is here.

What's your favorite Chloë Moretz performance?


will h said...

Kaylie Hooper! Easily Jack Donaghy's best nemesis.


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