Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fabulous Abbie

I saw Bright Star a couple of weeks ago, and as you might remember, I wasn't a huge fan. Even the performances, which have been the most lauded aspect of the film, didn't move me, and I was prepared to write off Abbie Cornish all together.
Then I saw Somersault.
Abbie Cornish is stunning in the this little indie that won a host of Australian film awards back in 2004, including three awards for best actress.
She plays Heidi, an emotionally unstable girl who leaves home and heads to a ski resort after a fight with her mother. Heidi uses her blossoming sexuality to get by until she meets Joe, an aimless young man working for his father. Heidi believes there is a connection between them, but when their relationship begins to unravel, so does her life in her new town, and a string of bad decisions leave her right back where she started.
Cornish's Heidi is childlike in her mannerisms and behavior, but seeking responsibility and adult connections. It's an amazing thing to watch. A scene that sticks with me is Heidi spending the little money she has on a pair of red gloves, then playing Miss Mary Mack with no one in particular as she walks home. Her performance is real and startling, and frankly the film would have been twice as strong if it had stuck with her the entire time, instead of meandering here and there into Joe's boring-by-comparison story.
I don't know if it was the film, which I found quietly mesmerizing, or the fact that I got to see her act with her native accent, but something in Somersault made me a believer in Abbie Cornish.


Danny King said...

Good to hear. I added this film to my Netflix after I saw Bright Star. I also wasn't blown away by Bright Star, but I did come away more than impressed with Cornish's performance.

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