Friday, September 4, 2015


In this era of moviemaking there are a lot of good actors and actresses performing in the movies today. However, there are only a few great actors and actresses out there today. In this post I am going to highlight the performances and scenes of one of those great actresses : Jessica Chastain.

With only 18 films on her resume and 2 more coming out later this year (The Martian and Crimson Peak), she has already shown herself to be one of the best actresses in the last 25 years. From her first film Jolene in 2008 to her Golden Globe nominated performance in 2014's A Most Violent Year, she has always showcased her talent and her unbelievable range in each character she brings to life. In this article, I am going to highlight  a few of those scenes and show how great this award-winning actress is.

The Help (2011) - Among one of the best casts in years, Jessica was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at both The Oscars and Golden Globes for her performance as Celia Foote. One of the storylines in the film is about Celia is a former regular-class woman who married into high society. However, due to her personality and origin outside of wealth, she is considered a outsider and is mostly shunned by all the women in the high social circle there. In the scene where Celia drunkenly confronts Hilly (Bryce Dallas Howard) over this, it is a brilliant scene by both actresses as Jessica shows the pain of being shunned has done to her without hiding it behind her cheerfulness anymore.

In the film, Celia hires Octavia Spencer's character Minny, a maid who has her own bad reputation according to others. Soon, they are able to talk and become friends as they bond over cooking , a specialty of Minny's. These are some of the best nicest scenes in the film as both actresses have a tremendous chemistry with each other . Also they are in one of the saddest scenes as Celia has a miscarriage that only Minny knows about. in the scene she does not have very main lines but Jessica shows the heartbreak in just her eyes as they fill with tears and sorrow at this happening to her again. Later, a silent sequence is her burial for her unborn child and as she is planting flowers for the site, you see other flowers there representing her previous miscarriages. The other scene above is one more of Minny and Celia as Celia and her husband Johnny offer Minny a job with them for a long as she wants to be with them. It shows how much both of them have helped the other through the bonds they have formed.

As a sidebar, this film is also one of my favorite films in the last 5 years. So damn good and I hope you can watch it sometime soon if you haven't.

Zero Dark Thirty (2012) - Jessica won a Best Actress Golden Globe award and was nominated for a Academy Award for her role in this film which told the story of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. In the film, she plays Maya, a CIA intelligence analyst who's only focus is her job. She sacrifices her personal life in the pursuit of Bin Laden. Jessica does a masterful job of showing the toll this takes on Maya as she follows leads and sees her become a target of the terrorists when they try to kill her. 

Jessica's ability to almost transform into who she is portraying in a movie has never been more striking than in this film. She IS Maya and enthuses the role with power. Maya does not suffer fools and she never lets things burden her except for one thing : her job. She spends over 8 years hunting down Bin Laden and it leads to a great scene at the end of the film. 

After Bin Laden has been killed by Seal Team Six, the body is brought back to the U.S. base in Afghanistan. As Maya walks to identify the body, she sees all the evidence collected by the team. Jessica plays this great as it is all in her facial expressions as she is stunned to see it has all come to a end. Maya is almost numb to it all in a sense of almost shock. Then as she is entering the plane to take her where she wants to go. Watch the below video and see how Jessica shows so much with just her face and her tears as all of the 8 years has come flooding to her at that moment and she doesn't know what to do next.

Interstellar (2014) - Interstellar is a movie that draws strong opinions from people both good and bad. (Personally, I love the film for it's inventiveness ,the emotion the movie has and visual beauty of this)  One thing that both sides agree on however is the performances in the film are stupendous and Jessica's is one of the best ones of the film. She plays Matthew McConaughey's daughter Murphy (Murph)who has grown up for the last 23 years waiting to see if Coop (McConaughey) can come back from his mission in space of looking for a habitable planet for humanity. Coop leaves when Murph is still very young and Murph is angry that Coop left when she was so young which leads to one of the best scenes of the film.

After a trip to a planet where every hour there, 7 years pass on Earth and the mission has been unsuccessful, Coop and the others are back on the ship. Coop goes through his 23 years worth of messages which are all from his son who tells him he is married with a son. As the last one of Coop messages plays from his son, he thinks that is all of them. Until he sees one from a unknown woman who Coop quickly realizes is his daughter.

As Coop starts watching, Murph tells him that she hadn't done one of these messages because she was still mad at him for going. She then tells him that it is her birthday that day and she is the same age as he was when he left. (earlier as Coop was consoling young Murph, he said there was a chance he could come back and they would be the same age.) As she is starting to break down and cry, she tells him that it would be a really good time for him to come back as she is overcome and stops the message. This is such a emotional scene for only being a minute long as Jessica plays Murph as someone very angry and yet still the hurt young girl who misses her father and just wants him to come back. As her voice starts to crack , you can she how much Murph is hurting but she still is angry that her father did not stay. Such a memorable scene that if you are a father, daughter or human being with a soul, the tears will be coming out by the end of her message. A outstanding scene and performance in a wonderful film.

Jessica also has such wonderful roles in movies such as - A Most Violent Year as Anna Morales ,the wife of Oscar Issac's Abel Morales who is fiercely loyal to her husband but also knows their family will never be safe and succeed unless they fight fire with fire.

-The Debt as Rachel Singer (in flashbacks) She plays a Mossad agent ordered to capture a Nazi Criminal in the 1960's. A very underrated spy thriller that sees

- Mama as Annabel who ends up adopting ,with her boyfriend his brother's kids who are being followed possibly by the spirit of someone called "Mama"

As the final word of this post , I think we have only seen just a bit of Jessica Chastain's talent and ability. We know she can do emotional scenes, Action scenes, sci-fi films to horror films. Her next three films are : The Martian, Crimson Peak and The Huntsman.
That is a stupendous line-up right there. In the future, I am hoping to see Jessica in a comedy. I could see her being in something with Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza as three sisters or with Paul Feig and have him and Jessica team-up for something action/comedy like Spy or Ghostbusters. All I know for sure is , even with all the awards and accolades that she has received, the best is yet to come for Jessica Chastain.

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