Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:
I really liked the film but was really disappointed as well.
Page was pretty awful. She was kind of snappy in Juno, but in every other role, she has a blank look on her face. Here, she seemed to wear it even while spouting dialogue the actress herself could not comprehend. And WTF, Caine pulls her out of class, and suddenly she's some great architect who sucks worse than I ever did at creating mazes. She becomes the exposition character, who gets and gives all the exposition, and her blandness - how one-dimensional her character was- nearly sunk the film.
The big snow scene made me feel like I was watching G.I. Joe the movie (remember the snow scene at the beginning of the animated film? That was this whole scene). And what a cheat using the bland-looking ventilation system instead of seeing the maze. Made me feel that Page's character was even more useless to the whole film.
This movie proceeds with the idea that every image of a dream must mean something. I would agree that most images in a dream do, but not all. There's always something out of whack.
Interesting. I thought Ellen Page stood out as fantastic, actually, surprisingly able to hold her own, and even shine, among the likes of DiCaprio, Caine, Watanabe, and Murphy. She's turning out to be a very good actor, I'm happy to say, able to do hip teenage comedy as well as realistic drama. She didn't have a big role, but her character had a resonance with me, and given how few lines the person had, that's a testament to Ellen Page's subtle acting.
In a way, I feel Nolan finally got the casting of his female right. In Prestige, everything was great, except Scarlett Johansen (sp?) was like a black hole, unable to do anything with the underwritten role. In Batman Begins, Katie Holmes was unconvincing. But now, Page shows how one can make a relatively small role work very well.
One-dimensional? Not at all. I believed completely that she was, all at once, brilliant, naive, inexperienced, insecure, confident, good with people, frightened, in over her head, the smartest person in the room...there were many levels, often contradictory, just like in a real person. it was a very subtle, and very complex, character to play interestingly, and she managed it, and made it look easy.
You talk of her "blank" expression - but have you ever really looked at people when they talk? Most people don't make any expression when they speak. It's all in the eyes, and the voice, and the body language. The face actually does very, very little. If you want to see a really mediocre actor, look for someone with a lot of different facial expressions.