Christina Ricci celebrates her 38th birthday today. She first attracted notice acting in an elementary school play at 8 years of age; two years later she made her feature film debut in Mermaids, as the younger sister of Winona Ryder’s character. During much of the 1990s she was a well-known juvenile and teenage actress, starring in the big-screen adaptation of Casper the Friendly Ghost and in a remake of That Darn Cat, and appearing in an ensemble cast in Now and Then, sometimes considered a distaff counterpart to Stand by Me. She also played Wednesday Addams in the two Addams Family feature films.
Our two headliners today have never worked together but I was still able to find a picture of them together (with Marion Cotillard in between).
Josh Brolin turns 49 today. He made his acting debut as Brand Walsh in The Goonies and in the late 1980s starred as Wild Bill Hickock on ABC’s The Young Riders. Despite a solid beginning and an industry background (actor James Brolin is his father), Brolin’s career seemed to be making little progress for a long time—the best parts he could get seemed to be supporting roles in lesser films.
That all changed in 2007, when Brolin had a very productive year. He played the villain in the Planet Terror segment of Grindhouse, and solid supporting roles in the well-received In the Valley of Elah and American Gangster. Most significant, however, was his highly-praised performance in the Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men as Llewelyn Moss.
Noah has long been a passion project for auteur Darren Aronofsky. It looked unlikely the big budget spectacle would ever be backed by a studio given the director’s artistic intentions and limited appeal. However, after a $330 million BO take for Black Swan, someone decided that it was worth the risk, especially given the success of more christian-centric films over the last few years. Aronofsky proved ill-suited to the studio system with fights over final cuts, disclaimers, budget issues, and marketing problems plaguing the film before it ever hit theaters.
I’m a big fan of DA, and was of the opinion that he’d never made a bad film. His films are incredibly emotional, singularly shot, and usually marked with a fervor. Black Swan was remarkable as an artist in search of unattainable perfection. The Wrestler was one of the saddest films you will ever see. The Fountain was a work of vision and a testament to what you want to say more than making sure it’s understood. Requiem hurts. Pi is insane. What then is Noah?