Blogathon: Performance Review -- Chloe Moretz in Let Me In (2010)
In the little time I had to squeeze out my analysis of Mila Kunis in Black Swan, I didn't have enough to fully gather and develop everything I wanted to say about another first-class though forgotten Supporting Actress performance of 2010...
Chloe Moretz plays Abby, a young girl who moves with her "father" into an apartment building that also occupies a mother and her son Owen, a boy who's lost, lonely, and confused in a scary world around him. Owen, who spends much of his time alone, seems to notice Abby more and more as the two exchange looks from afar but haven't yet communicated past that. Though he wonders about who she is and what she's come her for, especially when he begins to hear odd voices and noises from the apartment. The two make their first real encounter outside on the jungle gym where a barefooted Abby makes her way over to Owen in the snow as he works on his Rubrick's cube. Abby stays quiet and the two make a somewhat awkward and childlike introduction and even before jumping into small talk Abby states that she and Owen cannot be friends. This leaves Owen feeling low and confused, though on a second meeting the still shy and reserved Abby opens up to actually have a conversation with Owen and an innocent friendship between the two children begins. The two talk of the usual child-like topics of school, grown-ups and the world around them, but in these unusually mature and smart kids something different arises in their meetings together, and for Abby its something of a treat as she finds someone who she seems to understand and who understands her even when they don't really know her all that well.
Moretz plays the blooming relationship and the discovery of friendship and loyalty with a quiet joyousness and glee, and the happiness she finds in Owen is palpable on every shot she's in. But nevertheless, no matter how much Abby has opened up as a friend to the lonely Owen, she still hides behind a slight mask of darkness and uncertainty even when she truly wishes not to. She wants and needs a companion as she is just as lonely and lost in a harsh world, especially when she harbors her deepest, darkest secret that she is in fact a 300 year old vampire in this child's body who still thirsts on human blood to live. It's something that she has been forced to live with for far too long, but its something that which she simply cannot escape. Each beat in the growing bond between the two outsiders is anchored and nuanced by Moretz, who's Abby not just finds a friend but a deep soulmate with whom she can utilize her especial qualities to help support. It's a role that requires a kid actress of something other than cutesy tricks and adorable sentiment -- and Moretz's performance is possessed of neither of them. Instead, she generates complexities that go past the script page and pierces the heart in astute actorly intention, rare for a young actor. She's at once heartbreaking vulnerable and solidly courageous, as Moretz conveys a whole lifetime of confusion, loneliness, and desperation within Abby. She doesn't just show flashes of vast, palpable emotional depth, but textures that depth throughout her characterization completely to portray a very tragic, yet thoroughly human monster.
Check out the rest of StinkyLulu's Blogathon right here!!