A while back (and by that I mean a few years ago), I wrote a post that highlighted three great Kate Mara movies. To this day, it remains one of the most frequently read posts on this blog, which in turn, suggests that I should probably update it one of these days.
Until then, I’m turning my attention on an actress who has been a long-time favorite of mine and, much to my liking has starred in three movies this year. While About Time will be hitting theaters later this year (and is getting great reviews to boot), Rachel stars in Passion in theaters on August 30.
When looking back at her filmography, there have been some great movies, some guilty pleasures of mine and, yes, a couple of duds. Here are my selections.
A film so fetch that launched (almost) a thousand memorable quotes and marked the feature film writing debut of Tina Fey co-starred Rachel with a promising young actress named Lindsay Lohan as well as cine-hotties Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried.
Rachel teams with Wes Craven for this psychological thriller about a woman who is kidnapped by Cillian Murphy on a routine flight back home. Threatened with the potential murder of her father, she’s pulled into a plot to assist in the assassination of a politician. Yes, there’s a lot going on there. The tension between Rachel and Murphy is excellent. I re-watch this movie on an almost annual basis.
State of Play
Part of the charm of this mystery comes from the stars – Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren and Rachel. Ok, yes, Ben Affleck as well along with solid assists by Jeff Daniels, Jason Bateman and Robin Wright. This is one of those dramas that ends with a sudden twist that is both believable and perfectly executed, unlike the fate of Mr. Affleck’s Stephen Collins.
Midnight in Paris
One of my Top 10 movies from 2011 finds Woody Allen scripting and directing a magical fantasy comedy about a nostalgic screenwriter (Owen Wilson) who mysteriously finds himself going back to the 1920s every day at midnight. The supporting cast, which includes Rachel, is excellent and includes the talents of Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard, Michael Sheen, Tom Hiddleston, Alison Pill and the scene stealing Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway.
Before there was Paris, Rachel co-starred with Owen Wilson (and Vince Vaughn) in this David Dobkin R-rated comedy about a pair of womanizers who sneak into wedding to take advantage of the romantic atmosphere to get laid. Their great scheme hits a snag though as, justifiably, Wilson falls for Rachel. Christopher Walken and Jane Seymour play her parents while Isla Fisher appears as her sister. The film also co-stars Bradley Cooper, Rebecca De Mornay and Dwight Yoakam.
The Guilty Pleasures:
The Hot Chick
This is literally the only movie headlined by Rob Schneider that I can not only watch from beginning to end, but also enjoy it as well. The majority of the reason is because of Rachel, with strong supporting performances from Anna Faris and Eric Christian Olsen. Now do the Hand Game:
“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird!” This is the film that cemented Rachel as an “It-Girl” over a decade ago and to this day remains one of those Valentine’s Day classics. Yes, I’ve been Notebook-ed several times and if I’m going to have to sit through a Nicholas Sparks movie, this is the one I’m going to watch.
The Lucky Ones
This is one of those under-seen movies that stars a trio of solid actors. Rachel co-stars with Michael Pena and Tim Robbins as a trio of war veterans. Yes, the story does get bogged down about halfway in with the whole Tilson family sequence, but the chemistry between Pena and McAdams is fun to watch.
The Time Traveler’s Wife
Just a serious WTF movie. I could never get into this film as the story kept jumping around and never managed to hook me into it. The book version was actually pretty decent, but translated to film, it just didn’t work. Put it this way, I’d rather sit through The Vow again than watch this movie.
What the hell happened here? Rachel reuniting with Diane Keaton (they co-starred in The Family Stone) along with Harrison Ford – this movie seemed like it was destined to be a hit. Oh, wait, it’s Ford and Keaton doing comedy? Different story. Add to it one of the most vanilla actors working (Patrick Wilson) and you’ve got one boring train-wreck of a movie. Again, I’d rather sit through The Vow again than watch this movie a second time.
Other Rachel McAdams films: To the Wonder, The Vow, Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Married Life, My Name is Tanino and The Family Stone.
Which ones are your favorites/guilty pleasures/duds?