Sunday, August 4, 2013

I pledge allegiance to Anna Kendrick...

Ok, it's true confession time: I have a bit of an obsession with Anna Kendrick.

While I remember hearing about this theatrical wunderkind in the late 1990s, when she received a Best Featured Actress in a Musical Tony nomination for her performance in High Society (she was only 12), she first landed on my radar with her hysterical performance as controlling, conniving, spotlight-hungry Fritzi in the underrated, little-seen, but fantastic movie, Camp (2003). (Not to be confused in any way with the disastrous television show of the same name starring Rachel Griffiths.)

In this scene, Fritzi, tired of being the lackey, sabotages a friend's performance of Ladies Who Lunch so she could take over. Completely on point.

Of course, her acting in recent years has been stellar, from her Oscar-nominated performance in Up in the Air to her strong work in 50/50 (loved that movie) and End of Watch, and of course, the fantastic Pitch Perfect. Leave any top 40 radio station on for about 30 minutes and you'll hear a version of Cups, and you won't be able to get it out of your head.

Here's the scene from Pitch Perfect:

Even her recent stint as a guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance made me crush on her just a little bit more. A self-proclaimed "geek" for the show, she gave some of the most cogent and affirming feedback of nearly any non-dancer on the show, in direct contrast with Carly Rae Jepsen, who guest judged the prior week. For example, of dancer Makenzie, she said:

"Makenzie, you were so powerful in this. In some of the other dances, you've been given the 'beautiful' character—and you're SO pretty. But in this, the power wasn't coming from your beauty. It was coming from your ability."
And trolling YouTube for Anna Kendrick clips helped me stumble on this gem—a version of For Good from the musical Wicked, which she performed with Kristin Chenoweth for The Trevor Project's live concert in May. She may not have Idina Menzel's range, but she does pretty darned good, I'd say.

Can't wait to see what's next on the horizon for her, and I just hope she becomes even more of a star. Anyone else on the Anna Kendrick bandwagon?

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