This past weekend I trekked to my nearest movie theatre to partake in the “Carrie” remake and left with ten main thoughts in my head. Here they are:
1. Portia Doubleday aka “Chris Hargensen” is the standout star of the film
I didn’t recognize Portia Doubleday when I first saw her onscreen as the vicious Chris Hargensen in “Carrie” this weekend, but her name was just so familiar. After the movie I jumped on IMDB on my phone and quietly gasped to myself. Not only did I suddenly remember her being blonde, but I remembered her starring in 2009’s “Youth in Revolt” with Michael Cera and Rooney Mara. It’s said a lot, but in my eyes, Doubleday’s turn in “Carrie” is star-making.
2. Alex Russell needs to be in more movies
Remember Alex Russell? He was Andrew’s cousin, Matt, in “Chronicle”. I didn’t recognize him until midway through “Carrie”, which is a testament to his acting talent. People moan and groan about the state of young male actors in Hollywood today. You can declare all you want about the lack of true leading young men in Tinseltown, but I think that Alex Russell is in a group of rising young stars who may take over. As long as he picks solid, intriguing roles and remains focused on his career’s path, the kid will be alright.
3. I needed to see an Angela Bettis-type as “Carrie” in this remake
Chloe Grace Moretz is an exceptional actress. There are very few actresses in her age group that can do what she does with aplomb. I respect her acting decisions in “Carrie”, knowing the work that it takes to embody a character and execute those acting choices to an on-set crew, fellow cast members and huge audience seamlessly. Yet, I feel that I would have been scared out of mind seeing a different actress in this role. I felt bad for Chloe’s Carrie, but that was it. I wasn’t frightened by her like I was with Sissy Spacek’s Carrie. When I think of her Carrie, I think of fear and those huge, demonic eyes during the penultimate scenes of the 1976 film version. I went to this movie with a very open mind, but I left it still thinking that Sissy Spacek IS Carrie.
4. I’m torn by Julianne Moore’s depiction of “Margaret White”
Julianne Moore is an acting beast. Give her any character, and she will make an award-worthy flesh and bone person out of it. There were some amazing moments from Moore in “Carrie” where I was on the edge of my seat, but then they deflated to make room for a new scene. I just wanted them to linger on for just another minute or two. One scene in the film, where Sue Snell’s mother comes to Margaret’s place of work, is particularly frustrating. I won’t give what happens away, but there’s something that Margaret does which, if explored further in the movie, could have really given “Carrie” the macabre dimension I longed for.
5. Seeing Judy Greer as Ms. Desjardin was like watching what happened to Fern from “Jawbreaker” as a fully-fledged adult
“Jawbreaker” is one of my all-time favorite movies. I own it, have probably watched it 100 times, and never want to see it remade. At the time that it was released (1999), Judy Greer was the breakout star of the movie and went on to have an impressive acting career in film and television. While she is known for being the “best friend” in the rom-com universe, no one can deny that Judy has acting chops and is a legit fierce comedienne. Watching her as Ms. Desjardin was a revelation- she wasn’t the “best friend” nor in a comedy, and you rooted for her just as much as you did Carrie. Her showdowns with Chris were especially entertaining. It was like seeing what happened to Fern after “Jawbreaker”, all grown up and well aware of Mean Girl-dom in a new era, yet still in high school.
Want to read my full review on “Carrie”? Stay tuned for its debut in “Candi’s Corner” on Tinsel and Tine very soon!