Queen of Hearts – Act 2 reaction

It’s taken me a while to get around to writing this what with one thing or another. When I finished school last week, I was gripped with the most intense feeling of fatigue, as if I’ve been going at full pelt for a long time and then finally stopped. All the adrenaline was long gone and I was left in a bit of a slump. For those of you who follow me usually, you’ll know that I’ve started work on a children’s book. I’ve done about 1/5 of the writing so far and it’s going well. I’ve figured out the plot and I have a great sense of the overall feeling that I want behind it. I also managed to squeeze in a viewing of Spider Man – No Way Home last night, which was everything I hoped it would be. Utterly fan-tastic!!

I’m not here to talk about any of that, though. I’m here to talk about Act 2 of Cameron Cloutier’s Queen of Hearts. I’ve seen it through about three times now but I couldn’t find the time to get my thoughts down until now.

Here’s a basic summary – in this act we get to meet Caroline Earle (a character we only ever see fleetingly in flashback floaty hair dreaminess or in the lodge) and see how she and Coop first meet. We get the beginnings of Coop and Windom’s friendship and the swift (in real time) degeneration of this into suspicion of his young protege’s feelings.

Nico Abiera continues to impress as Cooper. He really has the tone and mannerisms down and is a joy to watch. Stepping into such an iconic role must have been daunting and he must have felt the weight of expectations upon his shoulders. Thankfully, he’s well up to it and is playing it very faithfully. He has his own style and it never feels like he’s mimicking Kyle, but he has that Cooper feel about him which is no mean feat.

The star of this act, however, is undoubtedly Charlotte Roi as Caroline. She injects such life and energy into proceedings and is a welcome addition to the Peaks family. Her outfits, hair and makeup are stellar too!! Bravo to Jessie Nole on that bit of work.

The mood of this Act is incredibly difficult to pin down. It’s a real rollercoaster and you’re never quite sure of your footing. From the utter chaos of the dinner scene which has all the unease of that Eraserhead chicken thing (and it also harks back to the Hayward Supper Club scene – have you ever noticed there are no table mats on the table in that scene. All the plates and everything else is just on bare wood) to the dark, moody highway and creepy logging yard.

The editing and camera work is really good throughout (some beautifully framed shots) and there’s some interesting use of music. As an English person, I couldn’t quite gel with Sweet Caroline, it having been used so much in connection with the football this year. I hear that song now, I just think of Marcus Rashford – as a result, it took me out out things for a moment, but that’s my own little issue.

The focus is taken away from Annie in this act but we return to her hospital bed a couple of times. It’s amazing how much she can act while just sitting in bed. Can’t wait to see what she can do when she’s up and dressed.

So, an intriguing bit of world-building in Act 2 and I’m looking forward to seeing where things go from here. I have a vague recollection of the script but thankfully not enough to spoil it for me.

If I have one bug to share, it’s that beautiful aquarium shot. It’s gorgeous and I just wish it was attached to something with a bit more weight. Sticking it in that montage seems like a bit of a waste but what do I know?

Shouldn’t have to wait long for Act 3. I’ll be back with more reaction when I see it. Meantime, we’ll done to Cameron and his brilliant cast and crew. You’ve created something really special.

Cheers for reading,


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