Todd: “I think I’m in love with her, dude.”
Marty: “Okay, she looks like she is about 11 or 12 years old, but…”
Todd: “I can wait. I solemnly vow to save myself for her.” *
Chloë Grace Moretz. Where the hell was she when I was 13? Had she been around, I certainly would have had the largest crush in the history of 13 year old boys. I think the 13 year old deep down inside actually does have a crush on her.
As it stands, I am not 13. However, I think it may be possible that, in an unprecedented perfect storm of talent, charm and the fickle circumstances necessary for good filmmaking, that Ms. Chloë Grace just may be my favorite actress before she can legally drive. Seriously.
It started when she played the knowing, no nonsense little sister in (500) Days of Summer. It was a good start, and set a strong foundation in my movie-watching experience of her. Yet, had that been followed up with nothing more than her performance in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, I probably would have forgotten she existed, (In large part because I will never see that movie and all accounts I have read make it sound like it should have been more accurately titled Diary of a Selfish, Unlikeable, Manipulative, Lying Little Asshole).
Had her career following her turn in (500) Days resulted in the all too common relegation to the typical little kid roles, of which she has done plenty, I would have thought of her only in terms of the hopes that she become one of the child star success stories and not one of the horrifying tales we so often hear.
Fortunately, her role in Diary was more a sign of her range than a true sign of what every role she took would look like. Instead, as mentioned above, there is very good reason to think that Chloë Grace Moretz is going to be entertaining the hell out of us for many years to come, and equally good reason to think that, if things fall the right way, she may be my favorite actress by the time she can get her Learner’s Permit.
Scott, that is a pretty bold claim, what are these reasons of which you write? Well, I’m glad I asked myself that, here is my answer.
First is the primary reason I decided to write this post. It is the fact that she stole every single scene in which she appeared in Friday’s remarkably fun Kick-Ass. In a film filled with immensely entertaining characters, she flat out ran away as the most entertaining. Her performance as an actress simply felt older than she was. Her sense of the moment, of the scene, of what makes a line funny or poignant simply reaches beyond her years. Most young folks deliver lines, Moretz acts. This is something that is quickly becoming a common theme for her.
So far, she is my favorite character in my favorite movie this year. That might change thanks to upcoming movies like Inception and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Still, the fact that it is true at the moment is crraaaazzzyyyy!
<As a brief aside, I LOVED Kick-Ass!
I completely understand where some people are coming from in their arguments that the film sexualizes teenagers while placing them in the midst of unbelievable violence and profanity, they are right. However, the reason I still loved the movie is because of my experience when I was a teenager. The film wasn’t a false sexualization, it wasn’t profanity you wouldn’t hear every day at every school in America, and it was a violence fantasized and role-played by every boy and some of the girls I knew. It was indicative of what the brains of America’s youth are really like.
Thus, if the content of Kick-Ass disturbs you, don’t rail against the film. Instead, hug a kid (yours or one you know well enough to hug), take them out for ice cream, become a mentor, tutor a kid, listen to a teenager as they talk about the overwhelming anger and helplessness some of them feel in the face of bullies and circumstances they can do nothing to change, which the movie nailed.
Also, if us adults can learn to fight our own bystander apathy, then kids won’t have to feel like they are the only ones who might change things. However, to go into more detail would require another post, so, back to Chloë Grace.>
Second-of-ly (to quote Tobias Fünke), another reason that I think Ms. Moretz will continue to rock out with her socks out, is great roles on the horizon. Hit Girl was that special confluence of a great role/character and exciting talent. This is something that can be fickle, plenty of great actors and actresses have been cast in doomed roles that make them look like utterly awful actors (the first example that jumps into my head is Gene Hackman in Behind Enemy Lines).
We know Chloë Grace has the talent, but she needs to land the right roles too, and there are some pretty fantastic roles that she has already been cast in, increasing the chances that the future looks bright.
Most obviously, there is her role in the next Scorsese film, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. This will mean a starring role, in an adaptation of strong source material (the book only takes about an hour to read for those interested), in a Martin Scorsese Picture. Hello! That sounds like a hanging curveball just waiting to be knocked out of the park by Moretz.
There is also Let Me In, the American adaptation of the amazing Norwegian film Let The Right One In (if you haven’t seen Let The Right One In, stop reading my stupid post and go watch it RIGHT NOW, it is available on the instant queue through Netflix. [If you don’t have Netflix… well, I don’t really know how to help you]).
Originally, Moretz being cast in Let Me In wouldn’t fill me with any sort of hope, because Let The Right One In is a movie that should be left alone in its original form. Usually, Americanizing a foreign “horror” film results in gore, stupidity and schlock.
However, like Homer Simpson’s urge to kill, my urge to hope is rising. The Departed proved that an Americanization can be smart and well-crafted. More importantly, a fairly recent interview with the adaptation’s director over at Cinematical gives significant reason to believe he really gets it!
This could mean that her role as the little girl damned to exist eternally as a terrible predator in the form of a child will present another source of dark, poignant, troublingly entertaining material to let Moretz flex her acting muscles. That may be a wonderful prospect.
So much can happen in the next few years. Chloë Grace may decide she doesn’t want to act anymore, or these roles could hit production problems and go the way of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman or At World’s End. However, if her perfomances as a precocious young orphan and a lonely vampire go as well as they could, thus leading to even more great job offers for her, then Chloë Grace Moretz just may join Leonardo DiCaprio, who is probably my favorite actor, as the actress most likely to get me to the theater based purely on her presence. I must admit, I’m rooting for it to happen.
*[quote is paraphrased]