“What makes “1,000 Times Good Night” more than a dramatic essay on wartime journalism is Ms. Binoche’s wrenchingly honest portrayal of a woman of conscience driven by a mixture of guilt, nobility and self-importance, reckoning belatedly with her destructive impulses. Her final challenge is a trip with Steph to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to help her daughter gather material for a school project on Africa. On a journey that she is assured involves no risk, a surprise attack on the camp puts them in harm’s way, and Rebecca disobeys orders and compulsively rushes into the melee.
Rebecca has already explained to her daughter that she is gripped by an unassuageable anger. Even when Ms. Binoche smiles, it registers as a shadow of sorrow on the face of someone who has seen too much of the world’s horrors to forget them. She is one of a few screen actors who can convey multiple conflicting emotions in a single glance. With an astonishing transparency, she disappears into the truth of her characters.
That truth can be ugly. When Rebecca is shown crouching over a fresh corpse and aiming her camera, she suggests nothing so much as a ravenous bird of prey.”
There is nothing more fulfilling to see a gifted actor acknowledged for their work! Please read this review and let it inspire you to go see the force of nature of acting, Juliette Binoche in 1,000 Times Good Night
The New York Times and Elle Magazine called to interview me. Elle Magazine’s January issue will be focused on Nicole Kidman. The New York Times is devoting an article on Michael Keaton. The bit of serendipity here is that Nicole Kidman introduced me to Michael Keaton. The Elle Magazine interview was at three o’clock AM, the New York Times at four o’clock AM. It was a great two hours. Anyone will tell you I love talking about acting. Given the opportunity to speak about talent is a real excitement to me. The way some people love to gush over cars or shoes—my gushing is over Nicole Kidman’s great gift of compassion and fearlessness; and Michael Keaton’s body of work, which has an extraordinary arc from Beetlejuice to James Angleton in The Company (TV mini series).
Many people think that anyone can act. Yes, we all can and do perform on the world stage of life. Take some of those anyone-can-act and put them on a Broadway stage or in front of a camera—your appreciation for the value of Nicole Kidman and Michael Keaton’s talent will escalate in seconds. In today’s society of reality shows, celebrities, selfies, Instagrams, web series, and paparazzi, art has a fight to get its due respect. So when asked to talk about the artistry of Nicole Kidman and Michael Keaton, my joy and pride overfloweth. Please let me encourage you to enthuse and support talent and craft, which gives our culture an importance and a chance to grow and expand. Always in the Art! Susan Batson
Joe Thompson of the Likeability-Fame offered me another delicious expression: Vertical Growth. I am of the upward mobility generation. Vertical Growth is stuff of mastery- upward mobility is of economic growth. I was absolutely thrilled when Joe emphasized that the actor must focus on Vertical Growth. You don’t have to be very wise to know that if you want Vertical Growth as an actor you must at least put in the much talked about ten thousand hours on your craft. What pleases me is that Joe Thompson of Abrams, part of the show business Industry, has expectations of Vertical Growth from the artists he encounters.
Needless to say, there isn’t an artist worth anything who is not invested in their individual Vertical Growth. What I am stressing here from the erudite Joe Thompson is that it is an expectation of the Industry. Let that encourage you to keep training-keep risking-keep exploring yourself and your art form. Often we’re stuck in the inevitable signs of mediocrity of our business, and that can be very discouraging. So let’s seize this vote for excellence from Joe Thompson, and challenge ourselves to gain our greatness, moving always vertically to our goal.
If you’ve been wronged, do you fight to make it right? Most actors feel that they have been wronged when they don’t receive the role they desired. Can you fight for it? Yes, of course you can fight for that role with all your might – with great work and passion- they say Kate Winslet moved mountains to get her role in Titanic. “No” does not have to be a final answer. To tell the truth, I believe that the actor receives the role that belongs to him/her, there is this serendipitous realm in the world in which actors live.
But, being raised by an activist I have implanted in me the commitment to always fight for one’s rights, what is just, and honest. It does not matter if you win or lose—it is the way you play the game. Recently I was horrified when I heard an adviser to actors say: that two blond, blue-eyed actresses would be cast as a citizen of Milwaukee. Then he pointed to two black actresses and said: that they would not be cast as citizens from Milwaukee. As of 2013, there were 66.6% of white Americans in Milwaukee and 38.3% of African American citizens in Milwaukee. So it is very possible that African American actors could be cast as a person from Milwaukee!! This guy who counsels actors was not playing fair–in fact he may have been playing a racist game–or simply he was ill informed. There are African American citizens living in Milwaukee.
Okay, I get it—it is an amusement park world where show business exists. But come on, play the game with honesty, justice and equality.