Saturday, May 05, 2007

Muriel Awards 2007 FYC #2

Best Breakthrough Performance: Carice Van Houten, Black Book

It's probably too early to start stumping for Best Lead Actress performances at this point in the year- it tends to get pretty competitive, after all- but even now it's hard to imagine anyone beating out Van Houten as this year's breakthrough performance. I admit that some of this has to do with the eccentricities of foreign-film distribution in the USA, which permits great talent to fly under American radar for years. But the real issue is Van Houten herself who, as they used to say of up-and-coming stars, definitely has It. Classic-star gorgeous, blazingly sexy, tough as nails, and fearless- all this and she's got talent and charisma to burn. The movie belongs to her, and she's up to the task, so compulsively watchable (for more than just aesthetic reasons) that you can't take your eyes off her, whether she's escaping a Nazi ambush, crooning for a Third Reich officers' shindig (did she do her own vocals?), or having a vat of human excrement dumped on her by her newly-nationalistic countrymen. Paul Verhoeven said that he's been working on this project for the past two decades- I like to think it's because he was waiting for Van Houten to become available.

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