Monday, June 11, 2012

Face Off: Kristen Stewart vs Movie Goers

Before the Twilight saga I had never heard of Kristen Stewart.  I went into the movies not expecting much because the text that it was based in constructed Bella - the role Stewart played, as a blank slate. The idea behind Bella is for everyone (by everyone, I of course mean everyone White, straight, cisgender and able-bodied) to be able to imagine themselves as this nondescript protagonist. For much of the three Twilight movies to date, Kristen has spent her time pouting, biting her lip, stuttering and falling.  However, to be fair to Stewart, Bella was written originally as a clutz.

In New Moon she perfected what I like to call the confused running girl. At the end of the movie Edward had decided to reveal himself and she was told by Alice that he would be at the clocktower, which, by the way, was straight ahead. Kristen ran and then she stopped, ran her fingers through her hair, looked behind her and then started running again.  If she has only moments to spare, why is she stopping to make sure the audience catches a glimpse of her oh so angsty zomg, I’m all concerned face? Then she runs again, only to stop again, run her fingers through her hair AGAIN, looking angst-ridden and concerned into the camera, before finally decide that this time it’s for real.

Kristen isn’t the worst actor in the series - I’m looking at you Taylor Lautner (his abs do his acting for him), but I’m not surprised that there weren’t any Oscars handed out.  

Okay, okay, fanpoodles settle down.  I know that Stewart is only 22 and is therefore young and not nearly as experienced as other actresses. Some of the the terrible acting could have been the fault of the director right? I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt until Snow White and the Huntsman.

In Snow White and the Huntsman, she was cast alongside of Oscar winner Charlize Theron.  This should have given her a good model to follow. We should have seen some improvement. Especially given that she was working with a new director and had a character that actually had somewhat of a spine (I can only say somewhat because Snow White is still the essential special snowflake that everyone seems to love) should have lead to an improved Stewart.  Not even an exciting actress like Theron could save her from banality.

Well, Kristen did give us something new, she stopped biting her lip and instead gave us a delicate trembling lip. This trembling lip was often paired with the large doe eyes, which gave her the appearance of a deer caught in the headlights. One can only have so many new tricks at a time,and so unfortunately, Stewart was forced to fall back upon running her hand through hair at the most critical moments and, of course, she returned to the confused girl running routine. We weren’t even thirty minutes into the movie before Stewart was being chased and, naturally, she stopped. Never mind those armed men chasing you and the fact that you are unarmed, now is the perfect time to stop and stare in that full-on angst, “I might be slightly concerned” way into the camera. Did she just get unlucky and have yet another set of horrid directions to follow, or is this well on the way to being her signature move?

At this point I don’t think it matters what role Stewart plays, the bottom line is that she cannot act. (Or she relies too much on her trembling, much chewed lip to do her acting for her; kind of like Taylor Lautner uses his abs) She is a master at bringing her own angst filled personality to screen, but that does not translate into giving us good character portrayals. I think in the battle of Kristen vs Kristen, the real loser is the movie going public. I don’t care if she smiles on the red carpet, claims not to want attention and has cornered the market on emo and has practically patented the phrase “I don’t give a fuck,” but I do think she needs to take an acting class before expecting people to shell out more money for mediocrity.  Special effects can only mask so much.