Anne Hathaway

Thoughts on… My most watched actors (2021 edition)

It has accidentally become a thing where every couple of years I look at my most watched actors ever list courtesy of Letterboxd and see what conclusions I can come to from it.

It’s fun to see how much (if any) change there’s been since I did this in 2017 and in 2019. The first thing I noticed that while their position to one another may have changed; Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Statham, Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman have always been my top four most watched actors since I started looking at these stats.

This year a quarter of my most watched actors are women – the most I’ve ever had on this list. Kristen Stewart, Anna Kendrick and Anne Hathaway making an appearance here for the first time. I definitely would like to see more women on here and I wouldn’t be surprised if Kristen Stewart especially manages to stay on here as I have about half a dozen of her films on my watchlists on various streaming services.

There are also six actors of colour, two more than last year as Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie make their first appearance on this list. Both of whom I’m not surprised about as they’re both the kind of actors I’ll watch a film just because they’re in it.

Having Anton Yelchin on this list is kind of bittersweet. Last year I watched a load of his films I hadn’t seen before so that helped get him onto this list. And while I do still have over a dozen more of his films to see, there will come a time when he probably won’t be able to stay on this list just because he is no longer with us and making films when other actors are.

It seems like every time I do this, this top twenty list gets more and more competitive. Back in 2019 the actors with the least amount of watches to their name were Rachel Weisz, Jim Broadbent, Maggie Smith, and Channing Tatum who all had 24. In 2021, none of them make the list and now my “least watched” are Denzel Washington, Liam Neeson, Scarlett Johansson, Dwayne Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Anthony Mackie, Anton Yelchin and Kristen Stewart with 27 films each.

It’ll be interesting to see in two years’ time who will still be on this list. For instance, John Goodman still has a spot like he did in 2019 but I haven’t watch one single more new-to-me film of his in two years. He often plays supporting characters and sometimes pops up in the most random of films so it’s easy to see why I haven’t seen more of his films but equally I wouldn’t be surprised if he managed to cling onto the list.

My predictions for 2023 is that Samuel L. Jackson and Jason Statham will still be my most watched actors but I think Idris Elba will surpass Morgan Freeman. I think Kristen Stewart will manage to stay in my top 20 most watched actors and I’d like it if more women could join her on this list too. Otherwise, who knows what could happen in two years!

REVIEW: Dark Waters (2019)

Rob Bilott (Mark Ruffalo), a corporate defence attorney, takes on an environmental lawsuit against the chemical company DuPont that exposes a lengthy history of pollution.

Dark Waters is based on a true story and that makes this film and what the characters go through, all the more amazing and terrifying.

Rob Bilott is contacted by a farmer (Bill Camp) whose cows keep dying, leading him to believe there’s something in the water from a chemical company who has a landfill nearby. This is where Bilott’s investigation starts but over time it becomes clear that it is just one part of a decade’s long conspiracy. It’s like he falls down a rabbit hole and each piece of information he uncovers is as shocking as the last, especially the lengths to which the company goes to to cover things up, and how deadly their practices are.

Something that Dark Waters does well is show how much time and effort it takes to put together this case and get justice for those affected by the pollution. Bilott’s quest for justice takes up years of his life and the scenes of him going through hundreds of boxes of documents is just as gripping as when he’s in court or trying to convince his boss that they should continue with the lawsuit. Dark Waters is also the epitome of one of my favourite things (is it a trope? I don’t think so) in films – competent people being good at their jobs. It’s Bilott’s resilience and ability to think outside the box that allows him to make so much headway even when everything is stacked against him.

All the performances are great here and many of the actors have at least one inspiring or impressive speech. Ruffalo is brilliant as a man who puts everything on the line, including his career and his homelife, to do the right thing, and continuing to fight even when this huge corporation with all their money and power throws so many hurdles in his way to try and stop him. While Dark Waters is definitely Ruffalo’s movie, the supporting cast are all terrific to. Tim Robbins and Bill Pullman deserve a mention but it’s Anne Hathaway that stood out in the supporting cast. She plays Rob Bilott’s wife and while naturally she has a smaller role, it is still an important one. These court cases and the investigation takes up Rob’s life for years, and it’s important to see how this affects his family, and while his wife is understanding of why he has to do this, she is the one keeping everything together.

It’s easy to compare Dark Waters to the likes of Spotlight and Erin Brockovich; Spotlight for Ruffalo and the investigative aspect and Erin Brockovich for the one person fighting against the big corporation. Dark Waters is easily as good as those two films, but it also stands on its own merits. It’s an engaging investigative movie where unfortunately you’re left feeling equal parts stunned and unsurprised that corporate corruption and greed can be so powerful.

It’s a film that needs to be seen, because the products that this company makes are just everyday things that are in everyone’s homes, and I for one was unaware of what the chemicals they produced could do, and how prevalent they are. 5/5.

REVIEW: Havoc (2005)

TW: rape

Wealthy LA teens Alison (Anne Hathaway) and Emily (Bijou Phillips), want to become a part of the “gangsta” lifestyle but they soon get in trouble when they cross paths with a real gang of Latino drug dealers.

The characters, much like the film itself, are shallow and unlikeable. All of the teenage characters are trying so hard to be something they are ill-equipped to be that it comes across incredibly cringey. The acting is not good, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt Sam being embarrassingly bad, and the dialogue is full of clichés.

There is one character in Havoc that is not irritating, though that is probably because he’s a spectator to the teenager’s violence and provocativeness and you learn little about him. Eric (Matt O’Leary) is a teenager with a camera shooting a documentary about Alison and her friends and why they want to be a part of the gang lifestyle. Those scenes do offer hints of something more interesting and layered, but they do not last long and instead go back to the superficial teenagers increasingly risky antics.

In Havoc there is a gang rape scene, though characters frame it that it wasn’t rape because the girl consented to sleeping with the men to start with which is just wrong. She may have wanted to sleep with them, but not all at the same time and she was clearly distressed once she realised what was happening. It is really insensitive and irresponsible to portray something like that, without having characters believe the girl that was raped, and to frame it that she was lying about what happened.

Havoc is full of unlikeable and irritating characters and it doesn’t have much in the way of plot or surprises either. If you’re someone like me and likes to watch things just to complete an actor’s filmography, fans of Hathaway, Channing Tatum, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt should avoid it for as long as possible. 1/5.

REVIEW: Ocean’s 8 (2018)

Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) gathers a crew to pull off the impossible, stealing a $150 million necklace from around actress Daphne Kluger’s (Anne Hathaway) neck at New York City’s Met Gala.

Ocean’s 8 is a spin-off from the George Clooney-starring Ocean’s movies from the 2000’s. Besides from a small cameo near the beginning of the film, which is a nice touch rather than feeling desperate, Ocean’s 8 is its own thing and stands on its own merit.

There’s something immensely satisfying watching women who are good at what they do, go and get the job done. There’s all the usual types of characters when it comes to a heist film. Lou (Cate Blanchett) is Debbie’s right-hand woman, Tammy (Sarah Paulson), is a fence, Rose (Helena Bonham Carter) is the one who has to stick close to their target, Amita (Mindy Kaling) is the forger, Nine Ball (Rihanna) is the hacker, and Constance (Awkwafina) is a pick-pocket. They are all so great in their roles and the chemistry between them all is wonderful too. I have to say Hathaway is the standout when it comes to the cast’s performances. She’s the epitome of a diva here, funny, outlandish and deceptively smart too.

The heist itself is clever and manages to fool the target and the audience though Ocean’s 8 lacks the style seen in previous Ocean’s movies. That being said, the costumes more than make up for that – all these women look fabulous. The soundtrack is also pretty great too.

Ocean’s 8 is an entertaining heist film with characters you root for. I really hope there’s a sequel because I’d love to see these women steal more amazing and priceless stuff. 4/5.

H is for Anne Hathaway

"Interstellar" New York PremiereI think Anne Hathaway is the actress who I’ve said is my favourite actress for the longest time – probably because I’ve grown up watching her grow from playing a princess to winning an Oscar. I grew up reading The Princess Diaries books so ten year old me was naturally very excited about The Princess Diaries movie. Anne made the perfect Mia Thermopolis and I loved the film a ridiculous amount and the sequel is equally enjoyable.

I’ve since seen many of her films and she is that person who I will go see a film just because she’s in it for instance I watched Bride Was (2009) just because she was one of the leads. She made an amazing Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and proved all those who doubted her wrong. Anne Hathaway was amazing in Les Misérables (2012) and I was so pleased she won the Oscar.

I love Anne Hathaway’s comments on the media and how it treats women. She manages to turn just about any sexist comment or question around either onto the interviewer or makes it relevant to her current project like when she had to lose a ridiculous amount of weight for Les Misérables or dealing with paparazzi.

Oh and how can I forget her part in 2009 Oscars opening number?! Both Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway are my favourites.