Monday, August 13, 2012

Why Carice Van Houten Should be Your Favorite Actress

Carice Van Houten
Amsterdam, NL—One evening nearly three years ago I discovered Carice Van Houten.  I was looking for something to watch on cable TV and flipping my remote control.  The Encore Channel was just beginning what became my favorite film of all times, Black Book.
I watched this film that involves three languages, Dutch, German and English with English subtitles. I speak German but unfortunately no Dutch.   The film recounted actual historical events in Nazi occupied Holland during the war. 
The Dutch Underground forces fought the Nazi’s courageously through sabotage and their protection of Jews from forced deportation, to what we now know were extermination camps.
Carice Van Houten played a Jewish cabaret singer, Rachael Stein who was hiding from the Nazis.  She has an austere life with a Dutch family that tried to convert her to their Christian faith.  She was waiting out the war that was turning against Hitler’s forces. 
Stein finds herself homeless and vulnerable and as luck would have it actively working within the Dutch Underground.  The film is a thriller in every aspect. The cast and crew are as good as it gets and the writing and direction by Paul Verhoeven, (Basic Instinct, Robo-Cop and Showgirls) truly made a film masterpiece.
The period costumes, vehicles and props all were amazing.  The terrific Black Book musical soundtrack is on my IPhone, IPad and MacBook.   
The bulk of this film was made at Filmstudio Babelsberg near Berlin because a generous German government film grant made for nearly half of the project’s budget.
Van Houten displayed incredible talent and range of abilities in Black Book.  In the film she swims, sings, dances, speaks three languages and plays every possible emotion.  Van Houten’s character was that of an unlikely but magnificent hero.  Don’t dare let me forget to mention, Van Houten may be the sexiest woman ever to grace the silver screen!
As an actress Van Houten is truly fearless in that she does whatever it takes to thrill her audience and make her character credible.   
Van Houten played Nina Von Stauffenberg in Valkyrie with Tom Cruise in her American film debut.  That part was too small for anyone to notice Van Houten’s significant talent and charms. 
Van Houten’s Los Angeles agent is the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and they have apparently been sleeping rather than utilizing the gifts of this superstar.  We have to wake them up so they can begin to appreciate their hidden box office moneymaker.
Van Houten has a minimal but delightful accent that might be preventing Hollywood from embracing her.  Have they forgotten two legendary actresses with much more pronounced accents like Greta Garbo or Marlene Dietrich?
Van Houten can be seen today in a small but meaty role in HBO’s Game of Thrones series filmed in the UK.  She has been in films far beneath her abilities like Repo Men and Intruders.
The time to bring Van Houten into American theaters with a strong role is long overdue.   Van Houten is exactly what the Best Actress prize of the Academy Awards is all about.  I’d love nothing more than to see another Verhoeven film made for an American audience with this gifted leading lady.

By all means order your copy of Black Book on Blu-Ray from, you'll be glad you did!

Watch the trailer below!


Anonymous said...

Paul you're so right about Carice! We need to see much more of her in the United States.


I too ,thought this was a great flic(and actress). I actually felt sorry for the "good" SS guy she was sleeping with. If this story is
even partly true, its even more amazing.
Im really starting to enjoy some of these foreign movies, most of our H/wood ones are horrible...

Anonymous said...

I agree Paul, Black Book was an excellent film. I bought it based on your recommendation and am glad I did.

Nora said...

Carice doesn't want to leave Europe, she's very famous and loved there. Why should she have to go to America? European cinema is fantastic, much better than American and Carice van Houten is an amazing Dutch actress who wants to stay in Europe, she even said in an interview she would stay. America is not the clarification for someone being a good actor/actress or not.