Early last July ESPN’s Bill Simmons confided that he’d seen Jason Reitman‘s Young Adult (Paramount, 12.9), and that Charlize Theron ‘s lead performance was a career landmark for her. Trailers always lie but this one suggests, at least, what Theron’s performance might be. Is anyone getting a sense that Simmons may have been right?

“Remember when we said earlier about Tom Cruise being Tom Cruise and how he needed Jerry Maguire [to do that], and how you watched for two hours…?,” Simmons said. “And this is Tom Cruise throwing 98 miles an hour? Charlize Theron has never had a movie like that. Monster shoudn’t be her defining movie…she gained 35 pounds and made herself ugly [for that], and she’s beautiful. She’s never had a really good movie that she was really good in in which she was also beautiful.

“And it made me reevaluate her career…that’s how good I thought she was in [Young Adult]. She knows that you know that she knows she’s beautiful. I’m glad she made this movie. People will feel differently about her after they see it.”