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July 26 2005

Trachtenberg Transitions With 'Dive'. An interview with the young actress, regarding her career, and her latest film. Incidentally, the tele-film (co-starring Sean Maher) airs tonight, on Lifetime.

I found this review of the movie in today's San Francisco Chronicle:

Not very flattering for MT or the movie BUT positive review of Sean Maher's performance PLUS a mention of Joss and Serenity!
Ouch. That Chron review didn't pull any punches did it? Still, from the linked interview, MT sounds like she has the, um, inner fortitude to carry on regardless.
While I was not about to watch this movie anyways, I kind of bristle at the reviewer's treatment of the Midwest and Madison, my home, which is hardly a small town at over 200,000 people(not to mention the seat of state government and the home to one of the largest Big 10 Universities), not even counting the suburbs or the non-resident UW students.
So, not a fan then...?

Interesting, I found this review of the Ice Princess DVD where the reviewer obviously never watched it since he mocks "John" Cusack for being reduced to appearing in it.

Makes you wonder just how many reviews are based on personal opinions and bias by peiople who don't even bother to watch that movie.
For those who are interested, here's another Clausen's Pier review from the Hollywood Reporter. Not quite as scathing as the review linked above, but not particularly positive either. That said, the review is kinder to MT, but aims criticism at the film's director. Happily, Sean Maher is given a positive nod.
I didn't read the review yet but just watched the movie. I didn't think it was a very good movie. I thought Michelle did an okay job. A few times I kind of felt she was acting like SMG acting but I suppose if you spend that much time on a set with someone your bound to pick up some of their mannerisms but it was just a little weird (my daughter kind of thought the same thing). I just thought the script was very weak and a bit thin. I haven't read the book but I don't think you were supposed to get out of it that this girl was kind of immature and didn't know if she wanted her crippled boyfriend or her older lover and you still couldn't figure out what she wanted up until almost the very end. Came across as her leading on these two guys. Again, I don't think that was MT fault just the way the movie was written and directed.

I thought SM did an excellent job. He only reminded me of Simon once and that is when his mother called and he said "Mother" and the way he said it was very similar to how he'd say "River" when he would realize that River might be up to something and he's calling out her name as he's going to find out.

The weird thing to watch was the love scene. I know MT character is supposed to be about 24 in the movie but the girl looks like she's 16 and they establish that SM character is 35 so it just looked wrong, especially when it's two actors that you are so familiar with. I commented to my daughter that it could've been worse if they had cast Nick Brendan in the role instead of SM because I would not have been able to watch that at all!
Well, we saw a different movie...I agree the script was a bit shallow and the whole theme was predictable, but I thought Michelle did a wonderful job bringing her character to life! She didn't overplay it and I found myself caring about her character early on and building from there. I saw her as a strong young woman in search of herself and with the courage to find her own path! Michelle was (as usual) beautiful yet seemingly approachable....she's very mature for her age and thus was able to capture the essense of an older character....I'd rate the movie above average and Michelle's performance first rate!
I watched the movie, but my TiVo cut out in the middle of the bit at the end at the pier, so I missed a little bit. Grrr TiVo. Anybody want to fill in the blanks?

I thought SM was fabulous and MT had her moments. I definitely saw a lot of SMG-type acting on MT's part. But she is really getting to be very beautiful. I actually found myself thinking, "And this scene must be titled 'Let's See How Pretty She Can Be'" every now and then.
OK, two folks have mentioned it now...what does "SMG-type" acting mean exactly??
She'd play a scene very much how I'd picture SMG playing it, very similar facial expressions, the way she'd move her head and eyes and her mannerisms. Again, having been around SMG for so long and playing her sister this could've easily just rubbed off on her.

I also missed a small bit of conversation at the end at the pier scene because my tv was set to go over to the local news at 11 and I quickly switched it back so I didn't hear her answer to his question on if she was staying but I got the impression she said yes.
She didn't commit...she told him that she was there now. OK, I don't see it but maybe it's just me!
Thanks for the info on what I missed.

I wasn't looking for it, just jumped out at me that she was acting like SMG acts. Kind of threw me off there for the beginning of the movie but then I'd forget about it until it happened about three more times throughout the movie. Again, not being critical. I think it is very normal, especially for a young actor, to learn from people they are acting with.
Oh, I would never see that as being critical...anytime an actor is compared to Sarah, I'd think of that as a compliment! I just don't see it...like I said, it's probably just me, especially if others see it too.
Here's another not so flattering review:

Boston Globe


Carrie and Kilroy are making mad, passionate love in his fabulous loft apartment. Topless, he's stretching up in an arc toward the ceiling; wearing a tight shirt, she's tucking down toward the bed. Necks are extended and contracted, positions are switched.

It's as romantic as a gymnastic routine, a sort of Pilates a deux, and it probably took the actors, Sean Maher and Michelle Trachtenberg, a few hours of earnest practice to coordinate it. Out of grateful admiration for their effort, along with the desire to continue laughing out loud, I rewound my preview tape to watch the pretty couple bob for apples on the ceiling all over again.


The pacing is odd, in that some of the pivotal plot turns -- falling in love, falling out of love -- occur abruptly. Too often, we're expected to compensate for lapses in time sequencing. And Trachtenberg's wan performance doesn't help the flow. She fit into ''Buffy the Vampire Slayer" beautifully as Buffy's kid sister, and she was convincingly bratty last season on ''Six Feet Under." But in ''Clausen's Pier," she's relentlessly sulky, so numbed-out as to be a narrative cipher. She fails to show qualities that would make Carrie attractive to friends and lovers. She's a frowning stick figure.

Well...it is Boston afterall, safe to say we saw something different!
Um, don't know what you mean about it being "Boston afterall". Happen to be from Massachusetts myself. I wasn't searching a Boston paper though, came across this doing a search for Buffy news on the net and this review, which came up with the previously mentioned negative reviews, came up as a search result so I thought I'd post it.

I agree with some of his comments regarding the flow, lapses in time and likability of the character but I don't think it has anything to do with me being from Massachusetts or the author being from Boston considering the other negative reviews were from other parts of the country.
Man, some people on this board are sensitive...lighten up! It was a joke!! New Yorkers and Bostonites have gone back and forth ever since the Red Sox gave away the Bambino!! Regarding the review, I disagree with 90% of what the person wrote, and reading it...I think I know how President Truman felt! Giving a movie a negative review is one thing, poking fun at various aspects of it, including the actors is a bit to "Howard Stern-like" for my taste! "A frowning stick figure"...you have no problem with that but get defensive over my Boston comment???

[ edited by Calledon on 2005-07-26 15:32 ]
Maybe the two of you can take this argument elsewhere.
Caroline, I don't think I was arguing at all. I posted a review that happened to be from the Boston Globe. It wasn't my review or my comments. I don't even think there was an angry tone to my response at just questioning why Calledon felt the need to point out that the author was from Boston or make it personal. Which from past instances I have witnessed is always frowned upon on this site. And Calledon your personal profile does not give any information on where you are from so there is no way I could know you are a New Yorker. And again, that is a review that I didn't write Calledon, I just posted it, like a couple of others above me did with others. I don't blame you for not liking the tone of it but I didn't write it so don't attack me or tell me what I don't have a problem with. As I had said in my first post I thought Michelle did an okay job with the character and my dislike of the movie had to do with the writing and directing. I never said I agreed with this reviewer's views on MT - and even if I did (which I don't) that would be my opinion. It is common for people to link to related news stories in a thread, like Alanna_Wolff and Inverse did before me in this thread. I feel, if anything, I'm the one being unfairly attacked for posting yet another review which Calledon chose to take personally.

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