Michelle Krusiec

"What makes Alice Wu's debut so pleasurable is its easy rhythms, its sly juxtapositions, and its relaxed but funny performances. A generous straight man, Krusiec gives the film emotional heft...."---Slate

HANNA is no Montana
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You probably don't know this about me, but sometimes when I watch a good film, I just burst into tears. I'm a combustible mess. It's ridiculous! I cry at weird things, like at the end of Terminator 2 when Arnold is getting dunked into the vat of acid. Hard core, man. He went in feet first and then his thumbs up hands were the last to go. Heartbreaking. Well, I let out a guttural sob yesterday when I caught a matinee showing of Hanna. I see films like this and I'm reminded of why I'm in "the biz," I guess it's relief. I also saw it at one of the best movie theaters in Los Angeles, the Vista. They've taken out every other row, so space and comfort are non issues in this art deco theater and watching a film here is truly special. Hanna has been out for awhile so check it out before it leaves. This is definitely one to experience on the big screen. I hadn't seen any reviews or trailers prior to watching it, I'd only heard good word of mouth. I somehow thought it was like a Bourne Ultimatum with a young girl, turns out I wasn't completely off the mark but it's a lot less produced and is very simply a girl assassin grows up.

As an actor in Hollywood, these are the kinds of films that you PRAY someone will write and make. They fully realize and utilize actors. We're not just appendages to the story and we haven't been hired to act cinematic landscaping. Director Joe Wright and cinematographer Alwin H. Kuckler truly do not waste a single frame. Their first 20 minutes are so finely crafted, I felt like I had been bitch slapped. The Chemical Brothers score makes you feel like you can scale walls, kick major ass and makes good ol' hand to hand combat look exciting again. Honestly, when it comes to Chem Bros, I really wonder how much drugs these guys have done because if you wanna know what it feels like to be supercharged on an upper (no admissions on my end here) just experience this score and stay out of your car. And -- I'm not a person who sanctions violence (or drugs!), but if I ever need to kick ass, when you see me humming in your face, it's gonna be to Chem Bros.

Hanna impressed me because it's a perfectly written script and should be a cue for other beginning screenwriters (including myself). It takes a supposed metaphorical "what if" and allows you the joyride of that hypothesis while losing none of the humanity. It explores key universal themes that almost anyone can relate to, coming of age and archetypal mother - daughter, father - daughter relationships. Most women have rough relationships with their mothers, that's the theme of my solo show, Made in Taiwan, I get that one. It was the father - daughter storyline that interested me.

I grew up in Va Beach, Va, a mostly suburban city next to the beach. There wasn't much to do there and I grew up watching movies every weekend with my Dad. Pop was your typical non-communicator and every weekend we'd go to the local video store and rent about 10 videos that were mostly action adventure, fantasy, thriller and definitely science fiction, his favorite. The first film he took me to see that I recall was Alien, I was like a super toddler - I mean - I think my spine had just started to form - and while I was completely HORRIFIED by the dude/alien birth scene, sci fi is now my favorite genre and I'm numb to aliens and milk. Dad was my buddy. I learned how to be troubled and silent with him. Our communication was non-verbal and seeing as how my brothers have difficulty communicating, I realize now that it's the Dad who passes on all the brooding and checking out and the mother who passes on all the emotional frustrations of having to deal with that. Well, Pop and I were pretty close eating our popcorn and being repressed together until I reached a certain age and suddenly one day, when I turned 18, while my Mom held onto me for dear life, my Pop just simply...let go.

Me and my Pop!

If you want to see an engaging film that makes you feel both invincible and human, check out Hanna. It's simply told, wrought with a strong and talented cast and gives you enough fodder for childhood reflections.

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Posted by Michelle @ 4/27/2011 10:15:00 AM


At 27/4/11 10:51, Blogger Code777 said...

The thing about the alien bursting out of the chest part -- so the story goes -- Ridley Scott did not tell his actors that it was going to happen. Now that's not cool for the actors (usually) but in this case you will probably forgive him given the results.

So when you see that scene again turn off the volume and watch everyone's expressions. There are at least a few genuine WTF's coming from the actors' mouths. Priceless! It turns the very scary moment into one of the most enjoyable funny ones!

And yes, the magical "what if" is so useful. Thanks for sharing!

At 27/4/11 11:40, Blogger Made In Taiwan said...

Code777 I knew about the "surprise" scene that Ridley gave his actors. What a gem to give to your cast. Moments like that make film history. It's AWESOME! I think I was too young to even realize what was going on but I recall having dreams about flying milk for awhile. May revisit the film now, thank you!

At 27/4/11 20:24, Blogger Code777 said...

lol! Yeah, flying milk! Priceless! Thanks for sharing, Michelle! :)

At 10/5/11 05:21, Blogger megan said...

Aww, the pic with pop is sweet.

You were excellent in Saving Face. Thanks for contributing to such an important film. I´m sure in little and big ways you´ve inspired and given confidence to many women around the globe, especially in Asia and the US. I know so many people who REALLY need to see this film! I hope you will make another politically edgy film! ; )

Thank you!
Megan Saltzman

At 13/5/11 18:50, Blogger salon said...

Thanks Megan! I appreciate that. I'm working on new material that deals with DV/SA (domestic violence and sexual assault) so lets see if I can get my tail into gear.


At 13/5/11 18:52, Anonymous Michelle Krusiec said...

Sorry that last comment was me - Michelle Krusiec!

At 19/5/11 02:38, Blogger megan said...

Thanks for responding, Michelle! Best of luck with the new project! Put your heart in it and you will do great!

Megan Saltzman

At 24/7/14 00:15, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michelle, you're so cute. Do you have a boyfriend or husband?

At 17/11/15 13:50, Blogger Francis V said...

hi Michelle... im a big fan since Traveller's days. Francis V.

At 17/11/15 13:51, Blogger Francis V said...

hi Michelle... im a big fan since Traveller's days. Francis V.


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