Hey Skip, I'm pretty sure I saw you post a question about my thoughts about Kate as Ava in the Aviator. Sorry it's taken so long to respond.
Well I've seen it three times now and am going a fourth this week and let me tell you it ain't to watch Leo, Cate, Alan or even Martin's direction again - though I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate each and every contribution to this terrific movie - but as an Ava Gardner fan through and through, Kate has managed to bring her very essence back to the silver screen and I, for one, love it!
Ava Gardner was an absolutely stunning woman, who would not be controlled or owned, not by any man, not by MGM, not by anyone. She did her own thing, said what she wanted, using some very colorful language indeed. She was honest and loyal and she used to say that when she lost her temper you couldn't find it anywhere. She was most desired and completely captured all attention, in a room as well as on screen.
Now obviously no one is going to look like Ava Gardner or much like any of the others for that matter (for the life of me I can't imagine criticising an actor for that - but there ya go) but Kate is absolutely gorgeous and she certainly manages to convey all that I listed above and then some. What's more, she manages to do it with precious little screen time in what is, without doubt, the most underwritten part in the movie. More impressive still, is that as small as her role is, it is not even presented in succession, she kind of pops in and out without a real beginning, middle or end. As written, and/or edited, there is no flow to her scenes as there is in the scenes of Hughes' relationship with Hepburn. Still, Kate commands your rapt attention each time she pops up on screen, just as Ava did.
So trust me, I completely understand your frustration in reading some pretty unforgiving reviews but, as Pibby mentioned, there are some harsh reviews for Cate and Leo as well, though, as with Kate, the majority have been very positive. What I found most interesting was the number of reviews in which the reviewer stated that at first they had trouble getting into either Leo or Cate's performance but were eventually won over. I can't help but wonder if some of those reviewers criticising Kate might not have been won over in much the same way if she had been afforded even slightly more screen time.
See that, ask a simple question... - and you get a damn essay - bad grammar and all.
Hey, you asked.