Monday, February 21, 2011

Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and the Venom Therein

Note: I wrote this back on January 20th, and I could have sworn I posted it... and yet, here it is in my drafts pile. Thus I am posting it over a month late. DOH!

By now the news that Anne Hathaway has been selected to play Catwoman in Christopher Nolan's upcoming Batman film has likely filtered through enough layers of the onion that is the blogosphere to have reached almost everyone who was interested in knowing that information.

And I've seen a lot of griping about this particular choice. A lot of those complaints are more about wanting another actress in particular to have that role, most commonly Rachel Weisz, and that I understand. That is disappointment about something tangible that could have been in one's mind, and I get where people may be coming from on that.

But there is also a lot of griping about Anne Hathaway in general. There are claims she is too nice, she isn't threatening and I even read more than one person referring to her in terms comparing her to a stuffed toy (words like fluffy and plush came up).

It is like having done a lot of roles as a nice girl/woman, people believe she is incapable of playing any other kind of role. Like playing likable characters most of the time makes her somehow less of an actress, or that she can't bring something to the role.

It isn't like she just suddenly materialized with The Princess Diaries. She had been acting throughout her life, and was an award winner even as a teen, and she's more than held her own onscreen with a lot of veterans of the craft.

Even if we are looking for something method from her performance, she did date someone for four years who turned out to be a master criminal.

I mean, there is a lot of venom out there about this announcement; way more venom than it deserves. Do people not remember Halle Berry as Catwoman... seriously?

Because when you are attacking Anne Hathaway for a role she has yet to play, you are also somehow saying that Christopher Nolan doesn't know what he wants for that role. Just wait for the movie and if you don't like it then, well you are perfectly free to complain (and let's be honest, if you are this against Hathaway now, you are prepared to loudly proclaim your hatred of the performance whenever the movie is released).

I admit that in the past I've mocked some casting choices, but I did base that on the precedent set by an actor or actress (Tom Cruise in Valkyrie comes to mind). Even then, I was sort of humorous about it. Some of these anti-Hathaway commenters are crossing a line in my mind.

And the thing is, it isn't as if I absolutely love Anne Hathaway... I enjoy her work, but she doesn't make or break a movie for me. I am just willing to wait and see what her performance is like before I judge it.

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