Let the record show that while I'm not a diehard comic fan, I am indeed a huge fan of Catwoman. The character (a staple of DC Comics) has been around since the 1940s. Embodied by the likes of Julie Newmar, Michelle Pfeiffer, and the ever-seductive Eartha Kitt, Catwoman has long been my personal "anti-hero." Now perched in place is Anne Hathaway, stepping into some pretty hefty stiletto boots. I finally got a peep of Anne's slinky costume---straight from the set of "The Dark Knight Rises." But it's not exactly what I expected. Will Anne be appropriately dressed to handle such a meaty role?
Can Anne do "Catty?"
Few will dispute that Anne Hathaway is a good actress. She's revealed her acting chops in quite a few films. In 2005's "Havoc", she was a rebellious gangsta teen. That same year in "Brokeback Mountain," she played a sassy rodeo queen. Clearly, she can tackle different types of characters. But ultimately, I wonder whether she's the type of actress who can pull off all the wonderful nuances of the perfect Catwoman.Bending Tradition
It's my understand that true comic fans can be pretty critical of films based on their favorite volumes. To be fair, the Batman series has remained fairly exciting. But in other ways, Hollywood has moved so far away from tradition that experimentation seems considerably more important than preserving nostalgia. I'm not saying that Anne Hathaway can't do Selina Kyle's character justice. There just seem to be other actresses who might do a better job. What about actress Shannyn Sossamon---an oft-overlooked actress with feline facial features and a mysterious demeanor? She's just one example. But there are countless others.Then there's the issue of the costume...
Take a closer look. You'll notice that it's missing a few things. Outside of the tight black suit itself, there isn't much catlike about it. Where are the cute little ears? The seductive mask and whip? The quick peek offered by the Huffington Post presented quite the ensemble. Hotness is surely an element of Anne's get-up. But it's missing that coquettish quality so becoming a feline villain. Halle Berry's peek-a-boo costume in the theatrical farce that was "Catwoman" gave the character an urban, slightly pedestrian feel. Toss the ears and mask, and Halle's ensemble looks like something you'd see in a typical nightclub. On the other hand, Michelle Pfeiffer's 1992 run found her in a purrfectly patchy catsuit---an ode to Selina Kyle's feline roots.
I have no problems giving actors a chance to prove their stuff. I am interested to see how deeply Hathaway dove into the role. But I do know that had costume designers added a bit more "cat" to her "womanly" outfit, she might be even more believable.
(On a side note, that is a really hot bike she's riding...)
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- Anne Hathaway
- Michelle Pfeiffer
- Julie Newmar