Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Dream Of Me (2001) – Kirsten Dunst (Marc Shaiman/Scott Wittman)

Best known for her portrayals in Spiderman, Bring It On, and Interview With The Vampire, Kirsten Dunst has also played an integral part in two Sonic Lager faves: The Virgin Suicides and Get Over It. While the former slowly suffocates in an anesthetic shroud of acedia, the latter is quintessential teen romantic comedy à la 10 Things I Hate About You, Can’t Hardly Wait, and She’s All That. What sets Get Over It apart from its peers, however, is Dunst’s performance of “Dream Of Me” in her school’s musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. One can easily imagine Kristen Bell qua Veronica Mars, having lost out to Dunst for the part of Helena, ditching her role as understudy to play the lead in Neptune High’s production of Fame, while likewise, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy opts to wax musical through the streets of Sunnydale in Once More, With Feeling. As the sole scene-stealer in town, Dunst flourishes in the spotlight. Against a backdrop of piano, her voice drapes the scene in gossamer layers of lyrical translucency, at times overly delicate, but never without winsome appeal. Helena’s idyllic musing of unavowed love stirs the soul, awakening desire. All the while, an unobtrusive supporting cast of oboe, strings, chimes and triangle hit their marks in balmy orchestration.

A school campus assumes a completely different character at night: students loiter in the shadows cast by moonlit buildings before soaking in the nascent energy of an auditorium buzzing with excitement on opening night, the audience a tableau vivant of anticipation. Tonight, an ingénue will build monuments, melt hearts, inspire epiphanies. As the curtain falls, she is wont to tally the scores who have fallen in love with her.

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