It all started this morning when Sasha Stone tweeted that Mary Elizabeth Winstead‘s performance in 10 Cloverfield Lane contains nods to Sigourney Weaver‘s performances in the two Alien films. To which I replied: “Pour it on for one of the most irritatingly ‘acted’ performances in recent memory. Gasping, wide-eyed, wimpering.”
Within the hour a small army of obsequious little twitter bitches jumped in to defend Winstead’s honor and gallantly protect her from the HE dragon. Key HE/Winstead tweet: “How to flagrantly ACT terrified with calculated ACTING tricks as opposed to naturally exuding the real thing….being, not ACTING.”
Mary Elizabeth Winstead in 10 Cloverfield Lane.
At some point Winstead herself jumped in. Her first remark asked in a chiding way if I also thought she was fat. (Answer: Nope.) I told her there’s a moment at the end of 10 Cloverfield Lane when she realizes that a certain above-ground reality that has been alluded to is quite real, and she says “c’mon” — THAT was good, I told her.
A couple of the little twitter kiss-asses thought this constituted harassment on my part. The monkey-obeisance instinct always kicks in…”We love you, pretty movie star! That guy who said those mean things?…we’ll defend you!”
I don’t have a thing against Winstead — I just hated all those signalling expressions and classic “scared girl in a horror film” techniques she uses in Cloverfield.
I loathed everything about Scott Pilgrim vs The World but I thought Winstead was way better than decent in Smashed and said so. I didn’t see Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and I don’t even remember her in A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. I haven’t seen any of her TV stuff.
The bottom line is that I hate “acting” — i.e., when you can’t help but see the tricks and the technique that are being used instead of sinking into the character and the situation and losing yourself in the film, etc. Somebody said my beef was inconsistent because Leo’s performance in The Revenant was very “acted” and I didn’t complain. Maybe, but amidst the natural elements and the Chivo lensing and the ultra-realism I didn’t mind this.
Wells to HE community: Name performances that you felt were undeniably skillful and accomplished but overly ACTED, as well as ones that just took you up and away and into the vortex because you couldn’t see the marionette strings and therefore forgot that you were watching a performance.