Yesterday’s reaction to the Love and Other Drugs trailer, and particularly my conviction that Anne Hathaway is not only a locked Best Actress nominee but perhaps (gaseous and idiotic as this sounds) the lead contender at this point, was only partly based on those trailer hors d’oeuvres. I was also getting an intuitive sense that a guy I spoke to months ago about this film may have been right.

I’m referring to a guy I know from (a) a couple of extended phone conversations and (b) having checked him out to some extent online, and whom I’ve heard from every now and then about this or that research screening. (He opined that Benicio del Toro ‘s The Wolfman was a total piece of shit a long time before it opened.) Anyway, he saw a LAOD rough cut last February in Pasadena and passed along some passionate hosannahs. I took them and posted a piece, which I called “Hathaway’s Big Score?,” on 2.27.10.

I would urge the haters who weighed in here yesterday to read (or re-read) the piece, but here are some portions:

(1) “To hear it from a trusted research-screening informant, Anne Hathaway‘s performance as Jake Gyllenhaal‘s Parkinson’s-afflicted love interest in Ed Zwick‘s Love and Other Drugs is ‘wonderful, really wonderful…she knocks it out of the park.’ Plus their love affair, he says, is portrayed in strongly compelling terms. Resulting, he reports, in significant deep-down feeling plus some heavy love scenes with ample nudity.”

(2) “My concern here is with Zwick, a problem director who’s always emotionally overplayed this or that aspect of his films. But my informant, who saw the film last week at Pasadena’s Pacific Paseo, is, in my judgment, a sharp and reliable observer with taste. And — hello? — everyone knows the meaning of a recently Oscar-nominated actress (as Hathaway is/was for Rachel Getting Married) returning with another powerhouse performance that involves coping with a delibilitating disease.”

(3) “Gyllenhaal and Hathaway’s love affair is the main thing. Hathaway’s Maggie is coping with stage one of Parkinson’s. [And she’s] a very intense and interesting character, well versed in her sickness.

(4) “Hathaway is so great she’s almost in a different movie. Her character, Maggie, is a hard case, in a sense. She doesn’t want a real love affair with anyone because she knows it’s not going to last because she’s fucked. The symptoms of stage one Parkinson’s are intermittent jitters and losing physical ability, hands shaking…she’s in that stage, and taking drugs to control that. But you’re feeling all through it that this is a must-happen relationship.

(5) “The core of the romance is Jake’s overcoming his shallow relationship history, and Anne overcoming her emotionally aloof thing. And she’s really wonderful, absolutely wonderful.”

Oh, and here’s another guy (not personally known to me) who saw and liked it in Kansas City sometime in mid to late July.