Jose here. By the time this weekend's over, Jessica Chastain will have finished taking over the world her latest movies in the first and second spots of the box office (help me out here, has this happened before?), which might not mean she's a money-making sensation (at least not yet) but will undoubtedly expose her brilliance to a broader audience. The Oscar nominated Zero Dark Thirty, whose commercial success is undoubtedly owed to the torture controversy, dropped to second place, while the horror movie Mama is set to open as number one with a figure in the mid-twenty millions
The Guillermo del Toro-produced movie seems to be a good 'ole "mediocre January horror flick" but it's actually not half bad. I saw it earlier today and was shocked upon realizing I hadn't rolled my eyes a single time. The Chastainite in me wants to say the movie owes itself to her, but in reality, the direction and cinematography seem like a breath of fresh air compared to what this genre has given us lately. [More Chastain after the jump...]
When I first heard the movie was coming out I feared Chastain might succumb to the accursed Oscar tradition of arguably frontrunning Oscar nominees releasing horrific movies weeks before the ceremony (remember Norbit, Bride Wars and No Strings Attached?) and I was pleased to see she had aced even this.
One of the things that makes Mama different is the fact that we're denied the pleasure of watching Chastain's fiery red mane. So let's get out of the way for now.
That black bob isn't a look "anyone" can pull off. In context though the black wig makes sense and I curiously started imagining projects to keep the actress working continuously with the same wig!
In Mama, Jessica plays a rock musician who has to give up her band to help out raise her boyfriend's feral nieces. We see her playing an electric guitar on many occasions which led me to believe she would also be great in a live action version of Jem and the Holograms where she would obviously be in The Misfits.
We know Chastain can act, but can she sing? If so, she would be ace as a new Sally Bowles whenever someone decides to bring Cabaret back to the stage. A film version is obviously out of the question (nobody can top Liza's screen performance) but the musical is a stage favorite that has brought great notices to actresses like Judi Dench and Natasha Richardson.
If Jessica lacks musical talent - beyond the impromptu "Happy Birthday" on the red carpet - she can always play Sally Bowles in the play "I Am a Camera" instead while on her search for the triple crown (the Tony probably won't be happening for The Heiress - her reviews being too mixed.)
Last but not least, Chastain could play a great Lisbeth Salander. Bear with me...you know how much I loved Noomi and Rooney and how much I love the Stieg Larsson novels and all their movie adaptations, but the more I watched Jessica in her dark wig, the more I kept imagining the novels taking a Lars Von Trier turn and have a different actress play Lisbeth in each movie. This of course will never happen but I blame Jessica forlooking like Bryce and I blame Bryce for taking over Nicole in Dogville.
Stop me from rambling!
Did you see any of Chastain's movies this weekend?
What did you think of her black wig?
Should she cover that magnificent red mane for more movies?