Anne Hathaway Is Purr-fect For Catwoman

Yesterday we reported that Christopher Nolan had finally announced that Catwoman would indeed be involved in The Dark Knight Rises and will be played by Oscar nominated actress Anne Hathaway.

As you can imagine this was big news all over the internet on blogs, Facebook and Twitter.  There were positive and negative reactions.  As you can see with the title (and the bad and typical pun) I’m all for Hathaway playing Selina Kyle/Catwoman.

Hathaway got her start with acting in Disney’s The Princess Dairies and it’s sequel.  She then followed up the success of The Princess Dairies with another princess film titled Ella Enchanted.  Many see her as the sweet, smiling princess and nothing else even though she has done some spectacular work since those roles.

Hathaway after achieving great success as the sweet princess decided that she had to shed her innocent reputation if she was to get more challenging roles. She took on the role of Allison Lang in the film Havok. If you have seen Havok then it’s the total of opposite of what Hathaway was known for. Hathaway takes her clothes off and we see her breasts several times in the film. She also has sex, drinks and uses drugs. It’s not a good film and it’s obvious that Hathaway is trying too hard to shed her good girl image. She isn’t horrible in the film but it’s not her best work.

She followed Havok with a small part as Lureen Newsome in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain. Hathaway once again took her clothes off but this time the nudity was not the reason to take note of Hathaway, it was her performance as a rodeo woman who falls in love with Jake Gyllenhaal’s Jack Twist. When we first see her character she’s carefree and fun-loving. Unfortunately Gyllenhaal’s character isn’t in love with her, he hates their lives and resents her. The loveless marriage makes Hathaway a bitter woman and you really see at this point what a great actress she is. She’s not a smiling princess or a teen character doing drugs and taking her clothes off to show her gritty side.

Hathaway followed up Brokeback Mountain with the adaptation of the popular novel The Devil Wears Prada. This was much different from her roles in Havoc and Brokeback Mountain. Hathaway plays a young, sweet and intelligent college graduate trying to get a job in the publishing industry. This role is not gritty or hard-hitting as the previous roles but it shows that Hathaway can be a functioning and real life adult in films without taking her clothes off.

Then came Rachel Getting Married.  Anne played Kym, a woman who has been granted a weekend pass from a rehab facility to attend the wedding of her sister. Hathway is completely different from anything she’s ever done in her short career. Hathaway is allowed to show her full range of talents in this gritty film. Hathaway in a scene with Debra Winger who plays her estranged mother and goes through a range of emotions. In that one scene she makes you feel sorry for Kym and then makes you shake your head at the character. Following that scene Hathaway has a scene with Rosemarie DeWitt in which you can see Kym’s (Hathaway’s) vulnerability as she is bathed by her sister. I still insist that Hathaway should have won the Academy Award for this film that’s how good she was.

Hathaway will always have to overcome the Disney princess label.  Elisabeth Rappe of film.com tweeted the following yesterday after the announcement of Hathaway’s casting:

I don’t like Anne Hathaway as Selina/Catwoman. Not enough grit. Rachel Getting Married aside, she still has too much of a Disney smile thing

Ms. Rappe is a great writer and I enjoy reading her work but here I disagree with her. After watching Hathaway’s career progress I can say 100% that she’s perfectly able to play Selina Kyle/Catwoman. Hathaway can be gritty, she can be cute and she can be sexy while exhibiting the intelligence that Catwoman is known for. It will be interesting to see her in an action film as she has yet to do that. Hathaway is one of the best young actors in Hollywood and I cannot wait to see her work with Christian Bale.


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January 2011

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