Snowballs 2019: Worst Actress - Jessica Chastain (Dark Pheonix)

Elisabetta Pulcini chastises Chastain and explains why she is the worst actress of the year.

Elisabetta Pulcini
10th December 2019
By far one of the worst movies of the year, Dark Phoenix, has many flaws. The directing, the storylines and the dialogue all lack focus and direction, making this movie not only far from entertaining, but also hard to watch. The main problem of this film is clearly Simon Kinberg who, as the director, fails to provide his actors with the support needed to deliver worthy performances. His lack of experience ultimately led to a one truly stand out abysmal performance by a talented performer.

In fact, Jessica Chastain is a good actress. From Interstellar (2014) to It Chapter Two (2019), she has demonstrated skill and charisma, and has consistently delivered on strong characters who confidently lead the movie they are in. However, the same cannot be said of her performance as the antagonist in Dark Phoenix. She is not only bad: even worse, she is entirely uninteresting. Had it not been for the predictable makeup, the viewer would not have been able to tell that she was supposed to be an important character. The complete lack of presence she brought with her on screen is truly surprising for an actress of her caliber.

Chastain (left) stared alongside Sansa Stark herself, Sophie Turner (right) in Dark Pheonix. Image:IMDB

Given the terrible dialogue, clearly written by someone who lacks any understanding of what human emotions might be, Chastain understandably sleepwalks her way through the movie. Not sure of what emotions her character was supposed to be feeling, she chose to go with the neutral choice: none whatsoever.

In most bad movies, villains can sometimes entertain the viewer by being either too camp, or too serious for the movie they are in. However, Chastain doesn’t even to do that: she is just boring, bringing nothing to the performance. And in an era where most movies get lost in the shuffle, being uninteresting is the worst asset a villain can have.

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AUTHOR: Elisabetta Pulcini
Film Editor 19/20 and Law (LLB) graduate. An Italian passionate about journalism and the law: always up for a debate. @ElisabettaPul

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