Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times has sent movie bloggerdom buzzing with his recent piece, "Film Critic's Notebook: When an actor is also a friend." Turan writes of being a long friend of the Kazan family, and how he's known rising actress Zoe Kazan, on screen and stage (even high-school stage). He explains how he usually avoids reviewing films when he knows the participants personally, however, he just couldn't help but share:
Movieline, for example, calls the post "epically misguided," noting, "if you spend more time rationalizing the ethics of the act you set out to do in the first place, then you are in all likelihood doing something wrong." They, of course, have a point. When we really hem and haw over an action, it's usually because there's something questionable about it. For me, the post is most iffy in the door it opens. While this might be a wholly genuine critique and editorial, it's the sort that can inspire a sea of posts not so genuine -- ones inspired by PR rather than the struggle of ethics.Watching Zoe's beautifully modulated work as the shy, quiet 20-year-old Ivy made me feel that knowing her was an advantage in this case because it gave me additional insight into how good a performance this is. Since what she does plays out with perfect naturalness, it would be tempting to hypothesize that, after all those other, busier movies, Zoe at last has the chance to be herself. Except that knowing her makes it unmistakable that this is nothing of the kind, that this is the kind of highly controlled, delicate work that is some of the hardest kind of acting to pull off.