Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Similar Standards: Ellen Page

Welcome to a semi-regular weekly feature here at Movies with Abe. On those weeks where reviews are sparse, I’ll be taking a look at an actor or actress whose body of work boasts many roles that may not be as diverse as those taken on by other actors or actresses. This is hardly a judgment on their abilities; rather an analysis of the kind of parts they play so well.

Ellen Page

This spunky Canadian actress, now 25, has established herself in less than a decade in the United States as a go-to for sarcastic, comedic girls with an above-average maturity and vocabulary. She’s rarely the cool girl at the party, but being the outcast doesn’t usually turn out to be so bad.

Hard Candy (2006): Page was incredible and terrifying as a lonely, psychopathic teenager so prepared for a statutory rapist that she planned to punish one man before he even did anything to her.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006): In this superhero sequel, Page took on the role of Kitty Pryde, also known as Shadowcast, an outcast by default who can walk through walls.

Juno (2007): Page’s signature role as a pregnant teenager garnered her an Oscar nomination, and for good reason. This is the kind of part Page was born to play, and she delivers Diablo Cody’s dialogue with precise excellence.

Smart People (2008): Page was at her most antisocial and pretentious as the daughter of a disgruntled professor, talking down to her uncle and not boasting very many friends.

Whip It (2009): Page proved individualistic once again as a witty teenager desperate to be part of a roller derby, a life choice her parents didn’t quite approve.

Inception (2010): Her intelligence was definitely on show as she proved able to build impressive dream worlds as part of the top-secret scientist team charged with engineering an original thought in someone’s mind.

Super (2011): This awful superhero comedy featured Page as Boltie, the excitable apprentice to Rainn Wilson’s horrific hero The Crimson Bolt. She was, unsurprisingly, a comic book nerd.

Anything different?

Just a melancholy role in the TV movie “An American Crime,” in which she found herself brutalized by her adoptive mother and as a result didn’t deliver much witty dialogue.

What’s next?

A part in Woody Allen’s new movie “To Rome With Love,” due out this month, and a lead role in a cool thriller called “The East” with “True Blood” star Alexander Skarsgard.

The verdict?

Some may find her irritating, but the truth is that she’s a delight, and while she might eventually move on to other roles as she grows up and stops looking quite so young, right now these kinds of parts are just right for her.

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