“I do admit that I’ve never been one to fit in easily to any given pattern. It’s not my choice. It’s just the way I am. So if the characters I wind up playing are all a bit different, it must be because that’s the way I like it. Anna Kendrick is different and she’s going to stay that way. ” – Anna Kendrick
I go through massive phases where I obsess somewhat over actors and actresses. I will go through their currently available filmography and watch whatever I can get my hands on. Normally, I am simply enjoying their craft and their uncanny ability to make me cry or laugh or feel things I didn’t know were possible.
Every once in a while, I return to actresses and actors that I have previously had a strange obsession with. This is sometimes because they had a new movie come out or because I had a craving to watch them in a movie. Then I fall down a rabbit hole of their entire filmography (mostly just their movies–TV takes too long generally). My most recent foray into this spiral was with the wonderful Anna Kendrick.
I feel the need to preface that I did not watch her filmography in order. I also have not seen everything she has ever been in. That all comes with time and availability. I am also going to be talking about each of her movies that I have seen in the order that I saw them (to the best of my recollection).
I know, I know. I was the typical preteen girl. I was of prime “Twi-hard” age when the films were coming out. So I found myself in the movie theaters and at home watching what has since been deemed the butt of all romances. To be totally truthful, though, Twilight is one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies. I will pop it in at the end of a particularly difficult semester and just binge it.
That’s not why we are here. I first saw Anna Kendrick in her role as Jessica in Twilight, as many people did. I had not read the books yet, so I was not privy to the type of character Jessica was supposed to be, which was the “ordinary,” but slightly jealous best friend. Watching back at these, I think this was a fantastic role for Anna Kendrick. Jessica acts as a sort of comic relief in the films she shows up in. I laughed at her quippy one-liners before I knew who she was as an actress, and she continues to make me laugh to this day.
Being honest, I was a huge shipper of Jessica and Mike, but Mike had to go and ruin it by being the less-appealing fourth tine to the love fork in the main romantic conflict. Jessica was an awesome person, too. She should have been with a cool dude, maybe not Mike because he would not be focused on her whatsoever, so that wouldn’t be the healthiest relationship.
Of course the next film I watched Anna Kendrick in was Pitch Perfect. I am all for a good, funny movie that has singing in it. As I mentioned in my last post, when the film first came out, I watched it on repeat. I would reach the point where the credits started and scootch it back to the beginning and watch it all over again. I loved the use of mash-ups and some of my most favorite songs of the time. I mean, I was a sophomore in high school, so my taste in music wasn’t particularly advanced, but it was mainstream.
What really sold me then, (that still sells me now) is the brand of humor in the movie. I love the quips and the fact that the humor isn’t too racy or vulgar, but just enough that the average viewer can understand. I think I originally watched the first movie simply because it has Kendrick in it. I’m just that type of person that will watch a movie because it shares an actor with another one of my favorites. That has definitely gotten me in trouble before (But I’m A Cheerleader, anybody?).
I have seen, and I own, all three in the series, but it was really the first movie that got me hooked on Kendrick and her keen comedic timing. It is was caused the snowball effect that I am riding until this day, literally.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting
I watched this film without realizing Anna Kendrick was even in it. She is not marketed on the cover whatsoever, probably because she was not as famous as the people she was acting among at the time. I think I also watched this the same winter break as I watched Pitch Perfect, but it could have been the winter break following.
Since my mom was pregnant with my younger sister, I have been interested in pregnancy, and I think this movie takes a cool comedic spin on the entire idea of pregnancy. It takes the important aspects covered in the parenting reference manual and throws it into a mishmash that all happens to fall together in the end. I think it is beautiful.
Into the Woods:
I mentioned in my post “My Musical Viewing Order” that I basically forced/tricked my family into coming to see this film with me. I am pretty much the only person in my family who enjoyed musical theater. Even my sister has criteria the songs have to meet in order for her to even think about listening to them. I, for one, definitely loved Into the Woods. I had never heard it before. I wasn’t super into the drama department at my school (I was too busy being a cheerleader to get involved in the play. Not that I didn’t want to.).
I don’t think Cinderella was my favorite character in the movie, but with time, she is making her way up there in my heart. However, I think for all time, my favorite character was Little Red. She had the funniest lines, with Cinderella coming a quick second.
The Last Five Years:
It was the summer after my freshman year in college. I was spending 60 hours a week with a baby, a puppy, and a 9-year-old. At some point, I needed a release. I found it in The Last Five Years. I ran across it on Netflix one night at my grandparent’s house. I saw that it had Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan in it, and I was instantly sold. I, like most people, was confused upon my first viewing. I loved the music, though. I found myself pulling a Pitch Perfect and rewatching the movie on repeat.
The more I watched it, the more I wanted to sing the songs, which I did to my baby sister, whom I was babysitting. I don’t have a phenomenal singing voice, but I was lucky to have a sister who liked music no matter the tonal quality of the voice singing it. My favorite songs the first times I watched it were “Moving too Fast,” “Miracle Would Happen.” and “I Can Do Better Than That.” It has, of course, transitioned over the last couple years, and I have found myself begin to love the final two songs in the musical, “Nobody Needs to Know,” and “Goodbye Until Tomorrow/I Could Never Rescue You.” I never thought I would enjoy those specific songs, but here we are.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates:
I think I watched this film simply because it was available on HBO during a very stressful time of my life. I’m glad I did, though. Kendrick is in a role that seems very off for her, but the character’s awkwardness fits. Realistically, I should probably watch this movie again because I am drawing all sorts of blanks about it. I know the plot, but I know that Mike and Dave, brothers, needed dates to their sister’s wedding. Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza were con artists of sorts.
I probably need to rewatch it.
Animated musicals are my jam. I am a total sucker for all things Disney, Dreamworks, Illumination, Blue Sky, what-have-you. I watched it one night at my job during a night shift (shh, don’t tell my boss). It was super cool to see the plot, and to hear the vintage songs being revived for the next generation. My favorite, and my baby sister’s favorite, song was “Hair Up.” I think I liked it because of its remixing of “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” which I knew from when I was in a theater arts class in sixth grade. She probably liked it because of its upbeat nature and catchy lyrics.
I never could have pictured Anna Kendrick in an animated movie, but after watching it, she totally fits. It is such a good movie and she does a great job playing a positive influence that always has an open mind.
I don’t know what came over me to think of watching Camp, but Anna Kendrick’s performance in it was incredible. She was so young when she was in it, and still so spectacular. I never would have thought about watching it. But that seems to be the overarching theme with her movies and me. Of course, my favorite performance is “Ladies Who Lunch.” Anna’s character Fritzi is so empowering in that moment.
Up in the Air:
I saw that Up in the Air was on one of the several movie streaming services I subscribe to. I remember when it first came out, my first thoughts were not about the wonderful George Clooney, but about that girl that played Jessica in Twilight. It took almost another decade for me to watch the movie. It was pretty good. Generally, it is not the type of movie I would watch, but I liked the humor, and I may even be compelled to watch it again if it comes across my feed again.
I watched this one because it was one HBO as well. I am also a huge fan of a few of the actors in the movie. It totally is the type of movie I would watch without any nudging from the powers-that-be that lead me to watch some of the others. I got a nifty little look into the drama that comes with planning a wedding, which I have never done and never want to do. It seems stressful and unnecessary. I loved the conglomeration of different personalities that find a way to work together in the end.
It is a predictable plot, but I really enjoy the feel-good elements of comedies like this one. I also didn’t think it was too vulgar and low-brow, which is an instant turn-off for me in movies. I can handle, like, one fart joke before I turn it off and go back to Pitch Perfect. The outsider’s table is relatable no matter what age you are. I didn’t even sit at a table in high school, and I can understand what it would feel like it be at the “loser” table or in the “loser” group. It’s not a good feeling, but popularity really is relative, which I feel is the real message of the movie.
A Simple Favor:
Ah, yes, the most recent Anna Kendrick movie to be released. Spoiler Alert, I love it, too. I bought it and have already watched it twice. To add onto it. I adore Blake Lively as an actress. Both the leading ladies of this extraordinary film are such empowering women. They are fantastic actors and phenomenally funny. I loved the comedy mixing with the drama of the story. It is artful storytelling that I just want to look at and analyze, which I will, as soon as I fully grasp what the movie was really about…
I watched this one just today. I didn’t know if I would like it, but then I got five minutes into it. I was laughing uncontrollably. I have always been a fan of John Francis Daley, or at least since I was a kid when he was on Bones. It was really cool seeing these two actors together. Overall, I highly recommend this movie if you are not easily offended by satire of religion. It is truly funny and worth the watch.
Obviously I have not seen all of her movies. I know I’m definitely close to it, though. I hope this extremely long blog post (sorry) gives you ideas on what to watch next or makes you feel better about your obsessions with actors and actresses.