Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Let me start this column by saying Anna Kendrick is one of my favorite actresses in the world. She is one of the most talented actresses in the world today and in this post I am going to highlight a few scenes as proof. In these I will explain why she makes the scene so good and afterward you can watch it for yourself. These scenes will highlight her dramatic, comedic and romantic chops as well as her unbelievable good singing ability.

In 50/50 it is the story of Adam Lerner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who finds out he has cancer and has a 50-50 chance of surviving it. Adam goes to see a young and inexperienced  therapist Katherine played by Anna. Through a their sessions they become more and more friendly as it is shown that she is helping him open up and they end up connecting as patient/doctor, then friends.

This leads to this scene as Adam calls Katherine as he is scared and tired. Anna is wonderful in this scene as Katherine is falling for Adam but still needs to help him as a doctor first. (a note : It is really hard I think to do emotional scenes on the phone as you can't see the person in the scene you are talking with. Anna and JGL do a great job in this scene overcoming it.) You can see their chemistry and Anna shows it via her facial expressions and the tone in her voice. Anna also does a great job showing Katherine's emotions just via her eyes and her smile when she hears Adam mention how she would be a good girlfriend. It is a wonderfully romantic scene between the two.

Up In the Air is where Anna earned her first ever Academy Award nomination for playing Natalie Keener, a newly-hired employee where Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) works. She has devised a idea of instead of firing people in person, they fire people via videoconferencing. Natalie is a ambitious go-getter who can't understand why Ryan is so unemotional about many different things. Over the course of their business trip, Natalie gets to see up close what this life is like and she finds herself not liking it.

In this scene, Natalie is firing a person for the first time via teleconference. She is nervous and uncomfortable as she knows the person she is firing is in just the other room. Natalie goes through the scripted material as the employee she is firing at first yells at her and then starts crying uncontrollably. Through it all, Natalie keeps her reserve as she finishes the call. Anna shows so much in this scene with just her eyes as when the call starts she looks to see his silhouette in the other room. How she keeps looking at him in the other room as he starts sobbing uncontrollably. You can see on her face that she wants to help him more, console him but she can't. And because she can't, it is hurting her inside having to do this. Great work by Anna and shows why she deserved her nomination.

Pitch Perfect is without a doubt the movie Anna is most famous for and her most popular movie (not counting Twilight ) In the film Anna plays Beca Mitchell, a introverted college student who just wants to produce music and does not want to be a part of anything. Her father makes Beca a deal : Join a club for a year and if she doesn't like it she can leave (SPOILERS : She stays). So she joins the Barden Bellas and she becomes friends with them while winning the acapella competition. (There's way more including romance and some great supporting characters so I'll just say buy the dvd and watch it. You will not regret it.)

The two scenes I am going to highlight show Anna's humor and musical sides. The first scene shows off Anna's ability to be the "straight man" in a comedy to Brittany Snow's Chloe. Beca is in the shower singing when Chloe hears it and goes to try to convince Beca to try out for the Bellas. It's a pretty funny scene for how Chloe is all casual talking to her as Beca is as uncomfortable as you can get. The scene shows off how well Anna can play off other characters wackiness which she has shown in other films like Rapture-Palooza and the movie's sequel Pitch Perfect 2.

The second scene highlights Anna's tremendous singing ability. Anna before she went into films had already been a theater veteran and a Tony award nominee. So in the scene, Beca is trying out for the Bellas. She performs the song "Cups" in front of Chloe and Aubrey to get into the group. Anna learned the song prior to signing for the film and it was included into the movie. the performance is only a minute long but it is one of her best. You can hear her not miss a beat as she performs the song while playing with cups. This is just a little hint of how good a singer she is. (if you want to see a whole film of Anna singing, check out The Last Five Years. It is a unique musical and Anna does a great job of carrying the movie.)

I hope you enjoyed this spotlight on Anna Kendrick and some of her best scenes in films. (This did not even talk about how good at social-media she is. She is one of the best and funniest people on Twitter) She has some future films coming up that look good as well : The Accountant with Ben Affleck , Table 19 and she has just wrapped filming Mike and Dave need Wedding Dates - a rom-com with Aubrey Plaza, Zac Efron and Adam DeVine. As a fan, I am looking forward to these films and whatever else she has planned in the future.

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