Natalie Portman. Jennifer Lawrence. Marion Cotillard. Shailene Woodley. Michelle Williams. The list goes on and on.
But there’s one actress, in my opinion, who sets the caliber so high for other young actresses that every time she’s onscreen, she shines like gold. That leading lady, my friends, is Anne Hathaway.
I adore her! In fact, I adore her so much that she’s one of my favorite actresses to date, alongside Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Sophia Loren! Though Anne has only been nominated once for an Academy Award, I believe there’ll be many more nominations in her future, and the chance of actually winning an Oscar one day is certainly bright.
She is so graceful, down-to-earth, well-spoken in her interviews. She exudes the elements of class and dignity that so few women can master. When it comes to her acting and singing performances, she’s been compared to film legends like Meryl Streep and late Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn.
But even the young actresses can’t mimic them because each has developed their own methods of acting. Though she could carve a path like them, Anne Hathaway has clearly proven that she’s in a league of her own.
Hailing from the Garden State, the Millburn native got the acting bug at a very young age after seeing her mother perform on stage. However, it wasn’t until she was in high school that Anne performed in many school plays. Her portrayal of Winnifred in Once Upon a Mattress garnered her a Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star nomination for Best Performance by a high school actress. She was the first teenager to be admitted in The Barrow Group Theater Company’s acting program. In the late 1990s, Anne, a soprano, was a member of the All-Eastern U.S. High School Honors Chorus that performed at Carnegie Hall. She furthered her education by attending Vassar College and New York University.
Anne has co-starred in hit movies like Becoming Jane, Ella Enchanted, Brokeback Mountain, Get Smart, Valentine’s Day, Alice in Wonderland, and One Day. She has also done voice-over work for the film Rio. In 2010, she received an Emmy award for her voice-over performance on The Simpsons. A trained-stage actress, the year before, Anne was nominated for a Drama Desk award for her performance as Viola in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at the Delacorte Theater.
It was Academy award-winning actress Shirley MacLaine who professed at the 2009 Oscars that Anne was “an amazing example for every young actress in this business” and is never afraid to show off her dark and bright side onscreen. This is true because she fearlessly exudes this raw talent that makes us suspend our disbelief through her countless roles. For example, we’ve seen her dazzle as a princess and in Prada (The Princess Diaries 1 & 2 and The Devil Wears Prada, respectively). She has portrayed a woman with Parkinson’s (Love & Other Drugs) and as a drug-addicted, grief-inflicted sister who’s been in and out of rehab (Rachel Getting Married, in which she received her first Oscar nod).
If you think for one second that Anne Hathaway is kicking back and milking on her success, then you’re completely from another planet. She’s got two more movies ready to be released. First, she’ll be the next Catwoman/Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises, the third Batman installment which is set to open in July. Second, she will portray Fantine in Les Miserables, the musical drama based on Victor Hugo’s 1862 French novel of the same name opening on December 14.
I’d like to take a moment to discuss the latter movie. I love Les Miserables — it’s the only show I’ve ever seen on Broadway. Set in 1815, the novel and play follow the lives of several French characters through the 1832 June Rebellion and also focuses on Jean Valjean’s early struggles and redemption. In addition to Broadway, the novel has been adapted into concerts, West End productions, television, and radio. Directed by Tom Hooper, the 2012 film is the adaptation of the stage musical.
After seeing the first trailer for the movie, Christmas can’t come soon enough for me.
Anne takes center stage in the trailer with her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream”. We don’t hear any singing yet from Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, or Amanda Seyfried, but this increases the anticipation! What’s so unique about this movie is that all the singing is not recorded. The cast is actually singing, which makes their performances more raw, emotional, and believable.
Many actresses have portrayed the role of Fantine over the years, but I sincerely think that this could be Anne’s golden performance, one that could garner her many accolades including an Oscar nod. I think this role was perfect for Anne. Just in the trailer alone, you can see the depth that she goes to portray the struggling factory worker who turns to prostitution in order to support her daughter Cosette. She chopped off her locks and reportedly lost weight. This movie is a prime example of Anne’s ability of showing both her dark and bright side.
No matter what future roles she will portray, Anne will no doubt shine because she’s, in fact, in a league of her own. I’d like to leave you with something that cumulatively illustrates my point.