Last night, while in the chat with the same group of people aforementioned in Alison's posting, I decided It would be fun to do an assessment of one actor from the movie per week. I myself am an acting major at Columbia College in Chicago, so by default the subject is of interest to me (not to mention my obsession with the series...). Now, when I began this entry I had planned to do an analysis of Kristen Stewart (Bella). As it progressed, though, It turned into something more along the lines of my thoughts on the movie. I think it's important that this topic is established before I try to get into the specifics of the actors. Thus, this first entry is regarding Twilight The movie. Feel free to comment and discuss. I have opinions, and strong ones. I expect you to have your own, will respect them, and expect the same. I will most probably not, however, agree with the majority of them. But that's a part of the fun, isn't it? Enjoy!

Now first, let me first clear up what I believe is a huge and common misconception amongst Twilighters: Much of what many of us are deeming 'bad acting' really stems from directorial issues. An actor can only do so much with what he or she is given. Personally, I feel that a lot of fans have been a bit too harsh on the actors, particularly Kristen Stewart, when a lot of what people have problems with came from the director. For example, the infamous biology class scene. When Bella entered, many people felt that Edwards reaction was, in fact, an overreaction and perhaps a bit melodramatic. Many people have blamed this on Rob and Kristen, faulting bad acting; as if the dramatic music and slow-motion shots had nothing to do with the problem. In their defense, I really feel that the cheesy impression we were left with is a result of flawed directional choices. Rob and Kristen didn't call the shots or angles, were told when to move and where, how to react to each other, etc. From there, they're left to their interpretations. With what direction and scripting they were given, I'd say most actor's would have a hard time delivering a scene like that with minimal cheese. Which brings me to another point:

The book. Sitting in the theater, watching the movie, and on the subway home from the movie, people were continuously snickering and mocking some of the sappier moments in the movie. Examples of such were the aforementioned biology scene, the lion/lamb dialogue, and Edwards sunlit exposure. Now, I am the kind of person who appreciates things for what they are, for whatever purpose they are intended to serve. I have always known that Twilight is the farthest thing from reality, that it is frankly, quite melodramatic, sappy, and contains significant cheesy dialogue. I also recognize that these are all the reasons I was bitten and smitten in the first place! I get the impression that a lot of fans had unrealistic expectations going into the movie. It's easy to accept fantasy, forbidden love, and all the drama that comes with Twilight when it's left up to our imaginations to play it all out. When it becomes tangible and you see it with your own eyes, it's harder to relate to. I mean, how many thousand of girls out there have lost their hearts over the phrase "And so the lion fell in love with the lamb"? It has become the source of ridiculous numbers of internet tag-lines and female fantasy. In writing, it's poetic, beautiful, heart-warming, and envy-striking. Now again, how many of us heard that bit of dialogue in the movie and cringed a little? Hearing the words out loud, they suddenly seemed a little cheesy and awkward -- laughable, even. I expected this, and accepted it. It appears that most, however, didn't . Don't blame the actors, it's in the script. I would be truly impressed if any actors could deliver those lines without getting snickers in response.

Another point of controversy has been Edward's sparkly skin. Really, people, what did you expect? Stephenie describes him as having what looks like thousands of diamonds embedded in his skin. He sparkles in the sunlight. It really could have been so much worse. I was actually impressed and appreciated that the effects team went with less, rather than more. It was subtle, but made enough of a point. Any more would have just looked terribly tacky.
I will say, however, that the sound effect ruined it for me. As they lay in the meadow and the sun shines through the cloud banks and we have a beautiful, artistic shot of Bella and Edward with his glistening skin and THEN....: cue the shimmering chimes music. Why? We get it, he sparkles. The sound effects were distracting and took me out of it.

Now, none of this is to say that I thought the movie was perfect. It was far from it. But anyone who expected perfect was bound to be terribly disappointed. One of the most beautiful things about literature is that it is left to everyone's individual perspective and interpretation. It would have been impossible to satisfy everyone's interpretations, especially for the actors. The production was also severely limited by an unimpressive budget, which is sadly much more hindering than many would suspect. There were flaws in production, direction, and acting choices all around, but as far as I'm concerned, they were petty and insignificant.

The Twilight movie team had a daunting task in developing a movie out of a story that is close to the hearts of massive numbers of ardently passionate and opinionated (because Twilighters are nothing, if not passionate and certainly opinionated) fans. The movie could have so easily been a shallow action movie void of relationships and character depth, but they gave us more than that. The characters were honestly portrayed and the relationships were true; the two things that contribute most to the heart of what is Twilight. They worked very hard at making our beloved characters very real, breathing (most of the time), feeling people, and that is the thing I appreciate most.

So no, Twilight the movie was not perfect, nor could it have been. But it was darn near close enough for me to see it 6 times and counting!

Edit: Check back next week for an analysis on Kristen Stewart's performance as Bella in Twilight. Also, feel free to respond to and discuss this weeks topic here in the forum.

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I think I pretty much agree with you on everything. I spoke to a few people before I saw the movie, and the things they put down about the movie weren't as bad as I thought they would be from what they said. I actually thought the movie wasn't bad; from being disappointed when the first Harry Potter movie came out, I knew not to expect miracles for Twilight - in fact, I was prepared not to like it. But it was better than I expected it to be - though not perfect, as you said. In my opinion, the first half was a little slow, too much looking at each other, not enough talking - but again, as you said, that's down to how the actors were directed. I don't think any of the actors are bad actors, I think they're all pretty good, which showed in the second half of the movie. I'll still be getting it when it comes out on DVD. Great analysis. I look forward to what you say about Kristen next week :)
I would like to commend you for speaking out and using your knowledge and experience to critique the movie. I think the superficial (albeit, fun) conversations that we have about these books and the movie are what the Haters use to bash us with, when in reality many of us have educated opinions that deserve to be heard and argued.

I agree with you, Brianna, on the fact that the acting is not the main flaw of the film and that we should be looking at the directing choices, but I'd like to add the script itself to the list, as well. One of the examples that Brianna gives is the dialogue, "and so the lion fell in love with the lamb." In the book it was definitely poetic and is a huge catch phrase online and on merchandise. Why wouldn't it be? It's a great line, but I was one of those people who cringed when I saw it on screen. The dialogue is verbatim from the book and yet it falls flat on the big screen. It falls flat because of the script. I'm sure that hearing the phrase would sound sappy and cheesy no matter who said it, but I think it truly falls flat because of the way the script was constructed.

As many, myself included, have expressed disappointment with the entire confrontation and meadow scene, I think it is important to note that the dialogue didn't fit into the rhythm of the movie because the entire sequence of the scene was disjointed and choppy.

Stephanie expressed in an interview that she was weary to have the book made into a film because the production company would have all of the rights and could then do whatever they pleased, but she chose to go ahead with the film because the idea of seeing the meadow scene come to life was too much to pass up. I wonder if she is truly happy with how it turned out; I'm not. I think the entire segment was butchered and sounded forced. It made me feel uncomfortable to hear Edward get forceful with Bella--"Say it." he pushed her, "Out loud." It was just all wrong. And then, out of the blue he races her up the mountain to see his skin. (Let's not even get into the fact that they were high up on the mountain and then were all of a sudden lying together in a flat meadow.)

I believe the same holds true of the scene when Edward and Bella are driving back from Port Angeles and the dialogue is something like, "My dad is still here. What is going on?" It's forced, and it's not because of the delivery, it's because the line is ridiculous. It's a crap line that didn't even need to be in the movie. I can understand why the producers needed to intersperse the bad vamps throughout the entire movie, but the part with Waylan's death is forced and is hard to watch, because it didn't belong in there at all.

What truly troubles me is that, for the most part, the book didn't need to be changed that much and it was anyway. I understand the need to edit out the biology blood typing to keep the movie from becoming too long. I understand cutting out characters like Lauren so the cast doesn't get too large. I understand low budgets that give us cheesy sparkling. I understand all of that, but why did the meadow scene need to be changed? What would have been so wrong with Bella learning about vampires the way she did in the book--by googling it and then confronting Edward on the way back from Port Angeles? Then the meadow scene could have run just like it did in the book and it would have been a much sweeter moment. The entire thing was wrong because they forced the extra scene on us and it was superfluous to the movie.

On the opposite side, I must say, the scene where the Cullens are cooking dinner for Bella was added to the movie and I had no problem with it, because the scene aided the telling of the story as opposed to hindering it. What it all comes down to, for me, is the script writing. Though, I can see where lots of the flaws are directorial over bad acting, like Kristen's stuttering. Sure, it came out of her mouth, but Catherine must have liked it or she did not have a problem with it or else we'd have something else in it's place.

I'm going to second a couple things that Brianna said as well:
I am the kind of person who appreciates things for what they are.
Twilight is the farthest thing from reality, that is frankly, quite melodramatic, sappy, and contains significant cheesy dialogue. I also recognize that these are all the reasons I was bitten and smitten in the first place!
One of the most beautiful things about literature is that it is left to everyone's individual perspective and interpretation. It would have been impossible to satisfy everyone's interpretations.
Twilight the movie was not perfect, nor could it have been. But it was darn near close enough for me to see it 6 times and counting!

Sorry to copy what you wrote, Brianna, but I couldn't have said it any better or any differently that you did. I feel exactly the same way on those points. Thank you again for your perspective and can't wait to see what else you've got running through your mind.
I got to see it for the first time at the midnight showing surrounded by screaming girls and I could not help being excited. However I could not help having high expections because of all the excitement around me. So when the movie ended I was very unsure about how I felt. Since then I have seen it nine times and it just gets better and better. The second time I was it I tried to go into it with no expections and to not anaylize it as it played but to just watch and enjoy. After I appreciated it so much more. Once I stopped comparing it to the books, because who are we kidding it could never compare to the books, I really, really liked.

I have a theory on why people were so harsh on Kristen. It has been said many times the Bella is a relatable character. Because of this and the fact that she is narratoring the story it is easy to put some of yourself into the Bella. Even so I think that they writers did not make Bella stubborn enough, but that is for the next discussion.

I was a little disappointed in the meadow scene as well, but ,unlike many fans, that has never been my favorite part for some reason. I did feel some Chemistry between Edward and Bella but you did not see their playfullness like you do in the book. The writers really focused on the serious side on their relationship, especially for Edward. This really disappointed me because I love that side of him, but there are still more movies to come.
thanks for your response! you know, i was a little let down by the meadow scene myself. i happened to have read or heard catherine say somewhere, before the movie came out, that there was a lot of trouble actually getting finding a meadow in the sun. i think she said something about having had the perfect meadow off location somewhere and then when they were supposed to shoot it was raining like crazy and they missed that opportunity... or there wasn't enough space for the cameras, or something like that. so the 'meadow' we saw was found at the last minute and it was a blessing that the sun decided to shine. not that her reason justifies why the scene was choppy and thrown together, but it at least explains it.

let me also say that i completely agree about the dinner scene. i thought it enriched the movie and was a great opportunity to introduce all of the cullens to, not only bella, but the audience as well. i particularly enjoyed alice's bit. i really appreciate your response and getting someone else's perspective on what i saw. make sure to check by sometime this weekend or early next week so we can go at it again!

ghchick13 said:
I would like to commend you for speaking out and using your knowledge and experience to critique the movie. I think the superficial (albeit, fun) conversations that we have about these books and the movie are what the Haters use to bash us with, when in reality many of us have educated opinions that deserve to be heard and argued.

I agree with you, Brianna, on the fact that the acting is not the main flaw of the film and that we should be looking at the directing choices, but I'd like to add the script itself to the list, as well. One of the examples that Brianna gives is the dialogue, "and so the lion fell in love with the lamb." In the book it was definitely poetic and is a huge catch phrase online and on merchandise. Why wouldn't it be? It's a great line, but I was one of those people who cringed when I saw it on screen. The dialogue is verbatim from the book and yet it falls flat on the big screen. It falls flat because of the script. I'm sure that hearing the phrase would sound sappy and cheesy no matter who said it, but I think it truly falls flat because of the way the script was constructed.

As many, myself included, have expressed disappointment with the entire confrontation and meadow scene, I think it is important to note that the dialogue didn't fit into the rhythm of the movie because the entire sequence of the scene was disjointed and choppy.

Stephanie expressed in an interview that she was weary to have the book made into a film because the production company would have all of the rights and could then do whatever they pleased, but she chose to go ahead with the film because the idea of seeing the meadow scene come to life was too much to pass up. I wonder if she is truly happy with how it turned out; I'm not. I think the entire segment was butchered and sounded forced. It made me feel uncomfortable to hear Edward get forceful with Bella--"Say it." he pushed her, "Out loud." It was just all wrong. And then, out of the blue he races her up the mountain to see his skin. (Let's not even get into the fact that they were high up on the mountain and then were all of a sudden lying together in a flat meadow.)

I believe the same holds true of the scene when Edward and Bella are driving back from Port Angeles and the dialogue is something like, "My dad is still here. What is going on?" It's forced, and it's not because of the delivery, it's because the line is ridiculous. It's a crap line that didn't even need to be in the movie. I can understand why the producers needed to intersperse the bad vamps throughout the entire movie, but the part with Waylan's death is forced and is hard to watch, because it didn't belong in there at all.

What truly troubles me is that, for the most part, the book didn't need to be changed that much and it was anyway. I understand the need to edit out the biology blood typing to keep the movie from becoming too long. I understand cutting out characters like Lauren so the cast doesn't get too large. I understand low budgets that give us cheesy sparkling. I understand all of that, but why did the meadow scene need to be changed? What would have been so wrong with Bella learning about vampires the way she did in the book--by googling it and then confronting Edward on the way back from Port Angeles? Then the meadow scene could have run just like it did in the book and it would have been a much sweeter moment. The entire thing was wrong because they forced the extra scene on us and it was superfluous to the movie.

On the opposite side, I must say, the scene where the Cullens are cooking dinner for Bella was added to the movie and I had no problem with it, because the scene aided the telling of the story as opposed to hindering it. What it all comes down to, for me, is the script writing. Though, I can see where lots of the flaws are directorial over bad acting, like Kristen's stuttering. Sure, it came out of her mouth, but Catherine must have liked it or she did not have a problem with it or else we'd have something else in it's place.

I'm going to second a couple things that Brianna said as well:
I am the kind of person who appreciates things for what they are.
Twilight is the farthest thing from reality, that is frankly, quite melodramatic, sappy, and contains significant cheesy dialogue. I also recognize that these are all the reasons I was bitten and smitten in the first place!
One of the most beautiful things about literature is that it is left to everyone's individual perspective and interpretation. It would have been impossible to satisfy everyone's interpretations.
Twilight the movie was not perfect, nor could it have been. But it was darn near close enough for me to see it 6 times and counting!

Sorry to copy what you wrote, Brianna, but I couldn't have said it any better or any differently that you did. I feel exactly the same way on those points. Thank you again for your perspective and can't wait to see what else you've got running through your mind.
i agree about showing too much seriousness in all of the relationships, and i'll try to remember to include that in my later analyses. i felt very much the same in that every time i saw the movie, i enjoyed it much more.

the best point i think you made was about how we all 'project' ourselves onto bella, as kristen often says. i remember watching special features on the pride and prejudice (my favorite movie and another of my favorite books) dvd and something particularly interesting that keira knightley said: she said that playing a role like elizabeth bennet is very dangerous, because throughout the centuries, every girl who has ever read pride and prejudice feels like elizabeth belongs to her. that every girl iselizabeth benet and the character belongs to each of us. i realized that i certainly had always felt that way, and i think that bella is very much the same. we all feel very specific about who bella is because we all find something to relate to in her. anyway, i don't want to go too far into my ideas of bella right now. maybe i'll save that for the next one! again, thanks for your response. i appreciate the response!

Erin said:
I got to see it for the first time at the midnight showing surrounded by screaming girls and I could not help being excited. However I could not help having high expections because of all the excitement around me. So when the movie ended I was very unsure about how I felt. Since then I have seen it nine times and it just gets better and better. The second time I was it I tried to go into it with no expections and to not anaylize it as it played but to just watch and enjoy. After I appreciated it so much more. Once I stopped comparing it to the books, because who are we kidding it could never compare to the books, I really, really liked.

I have a theory on why people were so harsh on Kristen. It has been said many times the Bella is a relatable character. Because of this and the fact that she is narratoring the story it is easy to put some of yourself into the Bella. Even so I think that they writers did not make Bella stubborn enough, but that is for the next discussion.

I was a little disappointed in the meadow scene as well, but ,unlike many fans, that has never been my favorite part for some reason. I did feel some Chemistry between Edward and Bella but you did not see their playfullness like you do in the book. The writers really focused on the serious side on their relationship, especially for Edward. This really disappointed me because I love that side of him, but there are still more movies to come.

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