Earlier this week, we presented a list of actors and actresses who have failed miserably in their attempts at a comeback. For his #1, writer Ashe Cantrell named Katie Holmes, whose latest movie is the critical and box office disappointment The Giver. Maybe we spoke too soon, though; or, maybe we should recognize that all the names on that list still have the potential to eventually find their footing again. The former Mrs. Tom Cruise is only in her late ’30s, and nowadays that doesn’t have to mean anything. We can be reminded of that when Holmes co-stars alongside Helen Mirren in next year’s Woman in Gold. Plus, there’s always the chance that a career-resurrector like Quentin Tarantino will find a special role just for her. He could turn her image upside down by turning her into a gun-toting vigilante.
Oh, wait, someone else has already beat QT to the punch there. Filmmaker Karen Leigh Hopkins cast the perky actress as the lead in her new movie Miss Meadows, which has all the makings of cult hit if not a mainstream one. Holmes plays the title character, a small town elementary school teacher who moonlights as a killer of murderers and rapists. She’s Disneyishly sweet, even to the point that she talks to computer-animated birds and squirrels, except of course when she’s packing heat. Going by reviews from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, the movie may be even weirder than that sounds, but some critics have also sold it as something special. At The Dissolve, Tasha Robinson called Holmes’s performance “note-perfect” in a role that’s “somewhere between laughable and tragic, half Amy Adams in Enchanted, half Michael Douglas in Falling Down.”
Robinson also wondered how something so “strange and offbeat” would be handled by marketers. We now get to see with a trailer that pushes Miss Meadows strictly as a thriller, ignoring the comedic and cartoonish side that made me consider seeking it out. Of course, my interests aren’t necessarily the same as the common moviegoer. Watch the spot below.
Without seeing the whole movie for myself, I can’t confirm that it might be a comeback for Holmes. Even if there’s more cult appeal here, that isn’t all too helpful. Maybe directed by John Waters and made 20 years ago it could be a certain success a la Serial Mom. But for today’s equivalent I am reminded of Violet & Daisy, the disappointing teen girl assassin flick starring Alexis Bledel and Saoirse Ronan. If the tone doesn’t work well enough — and outside of Robinson’s praise, a number of negative reviews indicate that it doesn’t — it ends up being a shame that the movie is not just a straight vigilante movie. Holmes playing a truly kick-ass anti-heroine without any gimmicks is probably a better option for her if she’s looking for a proper resurrection.