Hateship, Loveship*

Occasionally, actors catch my attention even after a movie has been out for a while that I’d never heard of, then barely finding the movie in theaters. Ever since Guy Pearce arrived on the scene in the US with his brilliant breakout performance in the movie LA Confidential, he’s been extremely good in almost every movie I’ve seen him in since. Of course there are a few exceptions like Lockout, but overall he’s an interesting atypical leading man. A famous cliche comes to mind, “Less is more.” So perhaps it helps that he stays out of the limelight, you don’t hear very much about the man or his personal life on his off hours, this often gives an actor more credibility and is less distracting, the less you know about how common and full of regular problems he has. (Much like Russell Crowe should have done after his breakout performance in the same movie). This gives him mystery and makes him more interesting to watch and this movie is another reason. 

K. Wiig, Hateship, Loveship/image: rogerebert.com
K. Wiig, Hateship, Loveship/image: rogerebert.com

The Premise…

H. Steinfeld, Hateship, Loveship/image; upandcomers.net
H. Steinfeld, Hateship, Loveship/image; upandcomers.net

The movie opens with an awkward and lonely thirty something Johanna Parry, Kristen Wiig, who is a caregiver, and her client just passed away. After she prepares the woman with her last request she seems a bit like a fish out of water, but moves on to her next care giving assignment. Which is different from her previous assignment as she’s a nanny for a teenage girl, Sabitha, Hailee Steinfeld. As Johanna meets the new family she’s also met by the estranged father of the girl, Ken, Guy Pearce. Who is doing everything wrong and you find out quickly why his daughter doesn’t live with him and why she lives with her grandfather Mr. McCauley, Nick Nolte . The director, Liza Johnson, also makes it clear that Ken and Johanna are smitten with each other after meeting. 

Kristen Wiig gives a decent performance as the insecure care giving nanny, but she also reminds you that she’s still trying to shake off Saturday Night Live, because her performance reminded me of one of her characters from her skits on SNL. Which was somewhat distracting. But because the writing and directing was exceptional, as well as the acting from the rest of the cast, it helped you accept her in the role. Pearce and Steinfeld, however, where extremely convincing as father and daughter, as Pearce was a man who had substance abuse problems but wanted to change for his daughter’s sake.

G. Pearce, Hateship, Loveship/image: sharethe files.com
G. Pearce, Hateship, Loveship/image: sharethefiles.com

The Sum Up…

This one gets a B NOTE WORTHY, see either in theaters or on DVD but see it. For very good direction and acting. Pearce is brilliant at covering up Wiig’s lack, even though Wiig was cast correctly. I’d really love to see him win something soon for his acting skills. The art direction on the film was also very unusual and became its own character, which is always clever when a film articulate’s this well. Also, you get the feeling without it being said, Johanna is going to get a taste of many first’s in meeting Ken which makes the movie really adorable. As for a Safety Alert, the answer is yes, a dubious relationship with the main characters, drug and alcohol abuse, and some language. This film is rated R and comes out on DVD very soon.

 

2 thoughts on “Hateship, Loveship*

  1. The cast really helped this one out. Especially Wiig who surprised me with how well she could handle being silent, yet still creating a fully rounded-out character. Good review.

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    • I liked her too but I just kept expecting her to throw on that curly wig and become the character from her skit that’s really famous. Anyway I liked the movie a lot too. Guy Pearce is the man!!!

      Like

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