Tag Archive: cancer


I love Anna Kendrick, that’s pretty much the long and short of this blog. There aren’t really that many actresses that I would class as some of my favourite people to watch in films but among them is definitely Anna Kendrick. The last couple of years have seen Kendrick rise to fame and become popular with fans and critics alike.

Like most really good actors and actresses Kendrick’s roots lie in the world of theatre, in particular Broadway. It was clear that Kendrick had talent right from the off as her performance in the musical High Society, at just twelve years old, as she won the World Theatre Award and got nominated for a Tony Award. After a few more shows Kendrick got her first film role in the independent musical comedy Camp and, although the film on a whole received mix reviews, Kendrick’s performance was largely praised and she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in the category of Best Debut Performance.

In 2007 Anna Kendrick got rave reviews once again for her role in Rocket Science but it was in 2008 that she finally got her big break and this came in the Twilight series (although lets not hold that against her, she has done lots of other good films too!). I can’t be bothered talking about Twilight but I thought I better mention it so lets just move on to her brilliant films.

In 2009, Anna Kendrick was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in one of the best films that I think I have ever seen and one of my favourites… Up in the Air. Up in the Air is a lovely, touching story with George Clooney in the lead role and Anna Kendrick puts in the best performance of the film in my opinion. It’s a lovely performance to watch and Kendrick adds some genuine humour in the film and many of the highlights of Up in the Air are down to her. It was Up in the Air where I really became a fan of her.

In 2010 Kendrick appeared in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and didn’t really have a lot to do here where she played the sister to the title character. It was while working on this film that Kendrick met her now partner, director Edgar Wright. Then in 2011, she appeared in one of the best films of the year and an all round near perfect film, 50/50. Kendrick plays the therapist to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s cancer patient and their friendship/relationship and mutual respect towards one another is really heart warming to watch and I think that 50/50 is my favourite performance of Kendrick’s so far.

It’s been a dramatic rise to fame over the last couple of years for Kendrick and that shows no signs of lagging just yet as this year has been very busy for the actress. This year Kendrick voiced a character in stop-motion picture ParaNorman, took the lead role in Pitch Perfect and also sang on the soundtrack and is currently appearing in a film being dubbed “the greatest cop film of all time” End of Watch. She is also in The Company You Keep alongside Robert Redford and Shia LaBeouf which I am looking forward to seeing but has only been previewed at the Venice Festival so far.

At just 27 years old Anna Kendrick is fast becoming one of the most fun actresses to watch and her career is surely going to reach some fantastic heights.

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Bale as a fictional hero on the big screen.

Christian Bale’s acting talents have brought him praise after praise for a number of films including The Fighter, The Prestige and 3:10 to Yuma but in terms of his public image Bale is sometimes dealt a raw deal. In fact, you never really hear much about Bale off screen but one infamous news story took place back in 2008 whilst Bale was filming the largely unsuccessful Terminator Salvation. You may remember that a video was released onto the internet of Bale having an incredible rant at the director of photography after he walked into Bale’s line of sight during a take. This incident was reported all over the world on main news channels and made Christian Bale look like a petulant little brat. When he later apologised for his actions this was kept away from most of the news. Therefore, it is common when people think of Christian Bale nowadays to associate him with this incident and strike him down almost instantly as not a nice person. However, I aim to change that with these news stories that didn’t quite do the rounds as much as the ‘rant’ but should have and should be brought to the forefront of people’s minds to show just what a fantastic character and heart warming person Christian Bale is.

Christian Bale is known for taking his acting very very seriously and has shown it time and again by slimming down radically, to the point of looking really ill, to pull off roles accurately (The Fighter, The Machinist). But Bale seems to have taken the role of Batman to heart and is carrying out all his duties to make people see what a real hero he is. Earlier this year upon the release of The Dark Knight Rises there was a tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado. 12 people were killed with a further 58 reportedly injured. These victims were just waiting to see a midnight screening of the third and final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Just a few days later Christian Bale was in Aurora visiting the survivors of the attack. Bale spent a few hours at the hospital where he spoke to victims, doctors and police officers who were among the first to respond to the shooting. These people wanted to see Batman and Christian Bale made sure that they did.

Bale meets Aurora shooting victim.

And now Bale has been at it again, making a young child’s wish come true. Five year old boy Jayden Barber was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer back in 2010 and it was his dream to meet Batman. A Facebook campaign was started by Jayden’s family to try and get Christian Bale to visit his young fan and sure enough, Bale was more than happy to oblige. Christian Bale flew Jayden and his family out to Los Angeles to meet him and he had dinner with the family too. This isn’t something that Bale needed to do but he obviously takes his job seriously and playing Batman he will have become something of a real life hero and a role model and this is a wonderful thing of him to do: making a young boy’s wish come true. And there was more good news for Jayden and his family as they recently found out that the cancer was in remission.

Christian Bale makes a young boy’s wish come true.

Christian Bale isn’t the only big screen hero to have done this recently though as Ron Perlman, famous for playing Hellboy has done the same recently this year. Perlman donned full make-up and costume to visit leukaemia sufferer, six year old Zachary . When asked for what he wished for most Zachary said that he wanted to meet Hellboy and don the make-up himself. Sure enough, Perlman and Spectral Motion made this boy’s wish come true.

Ron Perlman becomes Hellyboy to make a young boy’s wish become reality.

50/50 (2011) Review.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

Released to critical acclaim and receiving two Golden Globe nominations, 50/50 became a success upon release. But why is it so good?

50/50 treads a dangerous line by making a comedy about one of the most sensitive issues in the modern world: cancer. Adam is a twenty seven year old clean living guy who is diagnosed with the disease. 50/50 follows Adam as he struggles to cope with the diagnosis and fights to beat the cancer with the help of his best friend Kyle, his overbearing mother and a trainee therapist.

Seth Rogen and 50/50 screenwriter, Will Reiser.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is absolutely fantastic as the main character as he always is. He allows the audience to really get to know Adam and become emotionally connected to him, almost as if we are going through the battle with him. Seth Rogen comes under a lot of criticism for always playing the same character: himself. But no such criticism should be labelled at him here because Seth Rogen was actually part of the story that inspired this script. Will Reiser, who wrote the film, was diagnosed with cancer and loosely based 50/50 on his experiences and who was the best friend that helped Reiser through his battle with cancer? Seth Rogen, so it is only right that he play that same part here. And what a brilliant job he does, not only at providing some fantastic lines and comic relief but at making the audience really believe how much Kyle cares for Adam, more so as the film goes on. The chemistry and friendship between the two actors is fantastic.

A lot of the credit of making 50/50 feel as real as it is has to go to the director, Jonathan Levine. Levine has been quietly getting noticed with films such as All The Boys Love Mandy Lane and The Wackness but it is here in 50/50 where Levine excels himself. The way in which the film is shot allows the audience to become a part of the world and helps the film to come across as incredibly real, almost as if this was just people in the street going about their lives and not actually a movie at all.

The comedy is well spread out throughout the film and does not take anything away from the dramatic or dark story theme. In particular, one scene just after Kyle finds out that Adam’s girlfriend is cheating on him is particularly hilarious and if you have seen the film then you will know straight away what scene it is. The laughs will not last long though because you will be brought back down to Earth as Adam continues his struggle and one of his friends in chemotherapy passes away leading to Adam almost accepting death to be his fate as well. And as Adam is wheeled away for his operation I think there is a real sense of not knowing which turn the film will take; will Adam survive or won’t he?

50/50 is an incredible roller coaster ride. It can make you laugh and it can make you cry. But more importantly the film and the characters will stay with you for a long time. It is not a film that you will be in a hurry to forget, that’s for sure.

My Rating: 9/10.