Good Year, Bad Year


Good Year: Benedict Cumberbatch

Cult TV to global megahunk in barely a year? Not a bad effort at all.

After several years of gathering an army of Cumberbitches from his TV work, Benny C (Yes, Benny C) hit BIG this year, receiving universal praise for his role as Kaaaaaaahn in the latest Star Trek film, showing off his intense brooding monologue skills as well as considerable action chops – he acted Chris Pine’s face clean off.

Meanwhile, a recent supporting role in the critically acclaimed Oscar bait 12 Years a Slave (out here in a month or so) has also served to raise his profile somewhat. And, OK, so he was also in the admittedly naff The Fifth Estate, which garnered, should we say, an apathetic response from the critical community.

But his performance as golden haired super-creep Julian Assange was still well received and certainly hasn’t harmed his upward trajectory. He also has an upcoming role as Enigma hero Alan Turing and (whisper it) he’s also playing Smaug the Dragon in a little film called The Hobbit next month… so that might get a bit of attention as well.


Bad Year: Jaden and Will Smith

First up is the winner of the ‘Annoying Little Shit of the Year’ Award, Jaden Smith, for his role in the abomination that is After Earth.
Killed off by a complete lack of anything even resembling charisma and compelling narrative, the film was treated with what you might call an all-pervasive apathy by most cinemagoers and made about 50p at the box office.

Director M. Night Shyamalan who, let’s be fair, has been having a bit of a shocker recently, probably wasn’t the best choice to make the film, but it’s still no excuse for the totally boring phoned in performances of all involved.Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian summed it up thus: “Much like his dad, Jaden Smith shows no fear. Or any emotion. Or any acting talent of any sort.” Ouch.
Meanwhile, an oversaturation of unearned smugness whilst doing the promotional rounds can’t have helped, nor can the faint whiff of Tom Cruise-esque weird Scientology nonsense spouted at an alarming frequency by his usually fairly reliable dad. Even wheeling out The Fresh Prince’s Carlton to do the funny dance didn’t help matters.

The Pursuit of Happiness this was not.