America Ferrera Shines in "Christine"
Director Rodrigo Garcia's odd little twelve-part web-based drama is an on-line gem
Originally published at http://www.sefijaonline.com/
Published on LatinoLA: August 23, 2012
There was never any doubt about America Ferrera's terrific talent; it was well-acknowledged on the award-winning "Ugly Betty" on TV, and at the movie on "Real Women have Curves" and "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," among others. And more recently, America has shown her ability as a producer for films like "The Dry Land."
But the twelve-part web-based drama "Christine," written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia ("Albert Nobbs") as part of the ambitious WIGS channel on YouTube that Garcia and fellow writer/director/producer Jon Avnet ("Black Swan") have put together.
The final chapter of "Christine" appeared on-line last week ÔÇô the one and only episode that take Christine outside the speed-dating venue where she sat and talked for the first eleven twenty-minute episodes. And though the story itself is alternatively amusing, engaging, and just plain creepy, one thing is absolutely clear: America Ferrera is an amazing actress, who brings a wealth of emotion and complexity to an extremely difficult role, in a very difficult venue of two-person twenty-minute dialogues.
She is alternative charming, flirtatious, bitchy, and just plain "nuts," and you still can't stop watching. And never, not for a moment, do you think of her cute teen roles or her quirky Betty. It's more than just a matter of growing up or pushing the envelope. It's really about America Ferrera truly, finally, coming into her own. And you can catch actor Jacob Vargas in episode 10, and he's always good too.
WIGS has big plans for other multi-part dramas, all of them stories featuring women under stress. The next one, "Lauren," seems to be a combat drama; others will star the likes of Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Beals, Maura Tierney, Michael C. Hall, Jason Isaacs, Allison Janney, Jane Kaczmarek, Jena Malone, Rosanna Arquette, Walton Goggins, Jimmy Wolk, Gary Cole, Tim DeKay, Jason O'Mara, and Catherine O'Hara. If the shows to come are anything like "Christine," they will be beautifully designed and directed, smoothly and professionally presented, and very challenging: a whole new level of sophistication for web-based drama.
You can catch all twelve episodes of "Christine" right here here.
We'll see her again soon in the Jake Gylenhall/Michael Pe??a cop drama "End of Watch," premiering September 21.