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Miley Cyrus in The Last Song
Miley Cyrus aka Hannah Montana has finally proven to herself and to everyone that she can act in a serious, non-musical film. The Disney series certainly was her training ground and now that that gig is just about over, she is focused on substance for her talent.
While I doubt if Miley will ever be a major or reach super stardom in film, I think she will become a more viable actress as she reaches her twenties. She will hold her own as an actress and The Last Song simply is the proof.
The Last Song, based on the book, is simply about what happens in life: a couple is divorced, the kids paid the price caused by separation from loved ones, attitudes and issues from them develop and explode in the teenage girl that Miley plays. The kids spend the summer with their beloved dad, who unbeknownst to them, is dying of lung cancer. Of course, along the way the girl finds love and happiness briefly in a local dude (who, in real life, she may love). Miley plays the distraught girl and the first half of the film sets up the issues and attitudes she developed over time stemming from the divorce. At times, the parent's in the movie do not understand yet try to deal with her, likewise, the girl does not understand her parents and wants to be isolated, shoplifts and just hangs with a new friend.
The second half is the revelation to the kids is that their dad is dying, which is a real shocker to them. Most kids think their parents will always be there because that is what they do. This revelation angers both kids yet at the same time they have to deal with the reality of what love is and it's not always a happy thing. Much of the second half is a tear jerker of sorts. It becomes worse as we see the dad slowly fall apart from lung cancer-little things and clues that are horror to Miley.
This second half is where Miley proves she is a viable actress with real potential. Her tears are real (unlike the boy's I think) and she reaches deep inside of her to do this a make the audience believe its real. Like many who cry on screen, the actor has to reach inside of themselves to touch that deep emotion, stay focused, ignore the 20+ people around the set as the scene is shot, to convey reality to the audience, otherwise, it appears as if they used tear drops.
Miley does it convincingly.Her acting made me believe.
The Last Song is refreshing for Miley does no singing at all-it is all acting. She does play the piano, but I am not sure if that is her actually playing. The film proves that clean movies can be made and for all ages from 10 to 60yrs, without resulting to profanity, hip hop crap, gang BS or real or simulated sex. The furthest Miley and her boyfriend go is kissing. Not even wandering hands or undressing.
Both the film and Miley get 3 out of 4 stars on this!