Kirsten Dunst is that relatively rare group of actors who were prolific child stars and transitioned seemly into young adult and even adult roles. The only thing is, she doesn’t seem to get all that much credit for it.
As I said in my Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles review “When one lists child actors that went on to adult stardom (Jodie Foster, Ron Howard, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman) you know who never seems to be mentioned? Kirsten Dunst. I am not saying she is the best actor in this movie… okay; I am. She is fantastic, I always wondered why she never seemed to get the credit for it as other actors and actresses have.”
What is Kirsten Dunst’s best movie?
Well Since I am not including animated films in her worst movies list (Anastasia (1997), The Animated Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1998), and the abysmal Kaena: La prophétie (2003)) It would be unfair to mention Kiki’s Delivery Service as her best movie. That said, if you haven’t seen Kiki’s Delivery Service, you should check it out.
So in my four arbitrary non-animated categories. Best child actress movie is Interview with a Vampire; best adult movie is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004); best Sophia Coppola collaboration is Marie Antoinette; best short subject is Turning Japanese by director McG and Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami.
Kirsten Dunst’s Worst Movie?
Among the movies I have not seen, we have some serious contenders. A direct to video Crow sequel? A TV movie about teenage pregnancy? A stoner drama?
Kirsten Dunst’s third film is The Bonfire of the Vanities, a film that could easily top a lot of actors’ worst list. (It is certainly a contender on Tom Hanks curriculum vitae.) I was thinking it was a shoo-in (It is truly a spectacular adaptation misfire of an excellent Tom Wolfe novel). Alas, I had forgotten Kirsten was in Mona Lisa Smile.
While Mona Lisa Smile may not be technically the worst film Kristen has appeared in (Seriously there is a made for TV Randy Quaid movie on the list) It is the most hellish nightmare of a Julia Roberts star vehicle you could imagine. How bad is it?
It was filmed at Wellesley College and the alumni protested the film for its horrible depiction of female college life in the fifties. (Apparently woman in the fifties could think for themselves and didn’t need Julia Roberts to show them the way like some sort of feminist Jesus with zero charisma and a gaping Lovecraftian mouth)
To quote the president of Wellesley College at the time in a letter to alumni. “We’ve been hearing from many alumnae who have been feeling pressure to defend the College — and the quality of their own education — against the distorted and demeaning portrayal of our alma mater in the film, Mona Lisa Smile, released over the holidays in movie theaters across the country. Several alumnae have asked for help from the administration in their efforts to set the record straight.”
Time magazine’s review of Mona Lisa Smile began with the rhetorical question, “Can a college sue a movie for libel?” Some of us have been having similar fantasies. The answer, of course, is probably not successfully: the film made no claim to historical accuracy.
When a historical private women’s liberal arts college is fantasizing about suing your movie you have failed in a spectacular way. The movie itself is painful to watch. I can be a stickler for historical accuracy, but usually only when I am otherwise bored and irritated. After all, I put Marie Antoinette on the good list above. And there is not a movie that plays faster and looser with history outside of the Oliver Stone filmography than Marie Antoinette.
Kirsten Dunst’s Best Performance?
Interview with the Vampire. Sorry adult Kristen, you peaked early.
Kirsten Dunst’s Worst Performance?
I am going to go with Spider-Man 3. Now a caveat Kirsten is hardly the worst thing in Spider-Man 3. That is a long list and after my Mona Lisa Smile rant above this post is long enough. Kirsten just seems like she doesn’t want to be there.
I can sympathise. The Spider-Man films were far and away her biggest hits. She was often the lead in whatever film she was in, but none other ever seemed to have the popular culture traction of the Spider-man films.
Her role in the Spider-Man films however seemed to be often limited to hostage with cold wet t-shirt and no bra as well as love interest with cold wet t-shirt and no bra.
In Spider-Man 3 they added whiny girlfriend in a bad relationship whose whining is taking time away from the 42 villains the movie is overstuffed with.
Kristen was clearly done with the franchise at this point. And it showed up on screen.
What film haven’t you seen of Kristen’s that you know want to?
I have managed to go twenty years without seeing Wag the Dog, and I do not understand how. I would love to see that and the Crow movie because that looks like a fun kind of awful.
Anything Else learned, or you would like to add?
Kirsten really seemed to slow down after Spider-man 3. Heck she had been working since she was a small child she deserves a break. Kirsten has made her money, got married and had a kid. I say relax and chill and wait for Sophia to call about her all white remake of Gone with the Wind. (Yes, that is a Beguiled joke)