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Hanna (2011)
Adapt or die.
Director: Joe Wright

Raised by her father, an ex-CIA agent, in the wilds of Finland, Hanna's upbringing has been geared to making her the perfect assassin. Sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys across Europe, eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative. As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence.

Hanna (2011)

Young Angelina

Some films spring from the human soul; others are mechanised.

A problem is that the commercial process that brings films to us is itself a machine, so we are faced from time to time with the clumsy act of that machine valiantly trying to give us something worthwhile. The Wiensteins seem to be able to bring some decent films to us, but that is because they depend on them to incubate on their own. Every time the production machine tinkers with art, you end up with Frankenstein monsters.

So suppose you can write an action film and have Cate Blanchett on board. Just that act of hiring this woman — one of our very best actresses — means you have to gin up the machine to afford her. So what will your story be?

Possibly it will be about how such machines ruin life and how artistic life can become destructively mechanised. Well, sure this is an overblown way to see what is clearly intended as demographically precise action movie. But I think it useful, especially when you consider the filmmaker. This young guy takes ordinary stories and adds a layer about the fact of his cinematic presentation.

Consider the place and man Hanna is trying to get to.

But the demographics are interesting as well. I‘m not sure that we should be thinking it enlightened when a woman or girl is now acceptable as a fury. But at least we are seeing stereotypes evolve and each change has a window for appreciating what has been left. We may never leave a model where the brave man rescues the terrified, helpless-but-beautiful damsel.

Wright has my vote as one of the cleverest filmmakers in terms of conception. Think about the reversal: Cate in her reddest of hair as the manipulator who fails.

Posted in 2011

Ted’s Evaluation — 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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