I’m going to brag. Years ago, there was a soap opera on NBC called Passions. It was somewhat (though not entirely) different from standard soap opera fare as it invoked the supernatural in much of its storytelling. There was a witch named Tabitha who had a talking doll named Timmy, for example. And I’ve always been interested in supernatural stories, so I watched it.
Even then, I was aware that the show was what it was and I wasn’t watching any great work of art. But, among the entire cast, there was one who continuously caught my eye as having a talent for acting. The role was small and would sometimes go for what seemed like weeks without even appearing onscreen. But, when they did, there was an ease to the performance – a comfort level – and I always thought to myself that if anyone on that show would go on to become anything in the acting business, it would be that girl who plays Jessica.
That girl who played Jessica was Mary Elizabeth Winstead and she has gone on to feature in the Final Destination series, be a lead in last year’s good (but short-lived) A&E series The Returned, work with Quentin Frickin’ Tarantino in Death Proof, and now star in the subject of this post, 10 Cloverfield Lane. The only other Passions star I’ve seen, lately, is Jesse Metcalfe in God’s Not Dead 2.
When I’m right, I’m right.
And that God’s Not Dead 2 editorial is still coming. And it will feel great to get it out.
But this is about 10 Cloverfield Lane. The long, storied history of 10 Cloverfield Lane is widely-known and well-documented – both months of it. That’s right, if you’re unfamiliar with this film’s unusual (in today’s marketplace) marketing strategy, then what you don’t know is about the same as what the rest of didn’t know going in. Pretty much everyone was clueless. This movie wasn’t even announced until a trailer dropped and surprised audiences everywhere by not only proclaiming a new film set in the Cloverfield universe but by declaring that it was coming to theaters only two months later! Since then, other than the fact that this used to be a different movie that was rewritten to fit into said Cloverfield universe, no other details have been revealed (though even this minimalist trailer gave too much away for my liking). In this day and age of spoilers being released every few minutes to appease the impatient who care nothing about preserving their theatrical experience, this was risky. But it was a risky breath of fresh air.
I go into every movie I see with as little information as I can manage to get away with. I love not knowing what’s coming when I sit down. Some of my best, most memorable movie-watching experiences have come from those situations. How did it affect my viewing of 10 Cloverfield Lane?
Well, I’m not going to ruin anything for you after you were nice enough to click on my post. But, in sweeping generalizations, let me say that John Goodman and Winstead both go beyond performance an into the realm of inhabitance. John Gallagher, Jr., does his part, too, don’t get me wrong. His role just doesn’t have the meat that Goodman’s and Winstead’s do. And they both take advantage of the opportunities that they are given and, in doing so, will completely pull you in so that you’re living this story alongside them. Brilliance from both.
And that’s as detailed as I get. Sorry! The fun is in the ride! And it’s a lot of fun! I’ll conclude by saying that you should believe the hype and that this was the best time I’ve had at the movies, so far, this year! Run – RUN – and see it! Go!