I may be losing the will to live in what feels like the longest lockdown ever but if I have anything going for me, I’m ahead of schedule again for Mettel Ray’s Hidden Gems challenge! I think I accidentally binged all 3 of my picks for this month in one week because there was a bit of a dry spell for new releases, whoops. Anyway, to find out more about the challenge, check out Mettel Ray’s original post.
Why Kristen Stewart?
I’ve felt the need to defend Kristen Stewart ever since she rose to fame with the Twilight movies. I can understand her getting stick when the book fans didn’t feel like she was the Bella they envisaged, but she got so much hate for not being able to act and that’s simply not true. Anyone who thinks that she’s wooden and doesn’t show emotion simply hasn’t watched enough of her movies.
Letterboxd has 54 movies listed under Kristen Stewart’s filmography (although some are shorts and others are unreleased) and before the challenge I had seen 15. That’s nowhere near as good as I thought I’d do, she’s clearly been in more movies than I originally thought. Out of the ones I’d already seen some of my favourites include the Twilight Saga (obviously), Adventureland, Happiest Season and Charlie’s Angels.
I’ve also seen Panic Room, Personal Shopper, Underwater, Cafe Society, Snow White and the Huntsman, Jumper and American Ultra.
As before, I tried to pick 3 movies where Kristen Stewart played a big role, and so my choices ended up being Clouds of Sils Maria, Equals and Still Alice.
Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)
This was an interesting movie to start with for me, because I’d never even heard of it until I started looking into Kristen Stewart’s filmography. Kristen gets a lot of screen time here but the lead actress is Juliette Binoche, playing a famous film star dealing with her past when someone very close to her passes away. Kristen plays her personal assistant and is such a good fit for the role. Sadly, the movie itself really wasn’t for me, it’s gotten many positive reviews but I couldn’t get into it at all.
When I read the synopsis of Equals, I new it had to be one of my picks for the challenge. I’ve been defending Kristen Stewart since Twilight and her biggest criticism is that she doesn’t know how to show emotion. How ironic then that she stars in a strange, futuristic movie where emotions have been eradicated? On paper it’s a really interesting movie. Kristen Stewart stars alongside Nicholas Hoult in this movie that feels like a Black Mirror episode where developing emotions is actually seen as a disease.
I don’t know what went wrong – maybe it’s because Charlie Brooker has perfected that Black Mirror vibe and everything similar feels like a rip off but this didn’t work at all. I was interested enough in the beginning when the scene was being set but not even Kristen Stewart could save this for me.
Still Alice (2014)
I was feeling pretty deflated at this point. I don’t mind not finding a gem each month but I really disliked the last two movies and I wasn’t feeling hopeful. Still Alice has been on my radar ever since it was released, but back in 2014 I hadn’t fully embraced the drama genre and watching a ‘sad’ movie wasn’t something I actively pursued. In Still Alice, Julianne Moore plays a mother going through the stages of dementia. The movie is brutal in how it shows the effect her illness has not just on Alice herself, but her entire family. Kristen Stewart plays one of Alice’s daughters, and more specifically the daughter that is closest to Alice.
There’s no denying it, the movie broke my damn heart. But it is, without a shadow of a doubt, an absolute gem of a movie. I could sing Julianne Moore’s praises all day but this is Kristen Stewart’s time to shine, and shine she did. Alice’s other daughters of course cared but it was Kristen’s character who was there for the toughest times. There’s a scene that happens backstage after Kristen’s character’s play and when Alice goes to greet her, it’s clear Alice doesn’t even recognise her own daughter and that was so tough to watch.
Wow, I thought for a while this month was going to suck and by the end of it I went and found a hidden gem! I’m chuffed to say the least. I’ve really enjoyed seeing more of Kristen Stewart’s work and I’m patiently waiting to see her portray Princess Diana in her upcoming movie Spencer. It’s time to move on though now, in March it’s time to focus on Keanu Reeves!