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Don Draper

Kirsten Dunst deserves more. Why?

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https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/elisabethdonnelly/kirsten-dunst-on-becoming-a-god-in-central-florida 

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The extravagantly titled new series On Becoming a God in Central Florida, which premieres on Showtime this Sunday, is set in 1992. But its star, Kirsten Dunst, plays the most trendy millennial role right now: a scammer. She’s Krystal Stubbs, a young mother working a minimum wage job in a dingy water park near Orlando, surrounded by the hucksters and victims of the local cultlike multilevel marketing (MLM) pyramid scheme, FAM (which stands for Founders American Merchandising and is a parody of the real-life company Amway).

The story kicks off when Krystal enters the world of FAM, in her own persnickety, unique way, to exact revenge on the hawks who pushed her family into untenable poverty. It’s a comedy, ostensibly, but really more of a story about the elusiveness of the American dream, as played out in the surreal, hothouse environment of Florida. Or, as Jia Tolentino writes in her recent book Trick Mirror, summing up the ethos of this story and the seductiveness of MLM, “one of the best bids a person can make for financial stability in America is to get really good at exploiting other people.”

Dunst is — above and beyond — the reason to watch On Becoming a God, which, to its credit, is a consistently surprising show, and to its detriment is not directed by the Coen brothers or David Lynch. The worries that plague Krystal’s everyday life feel more relevant than ever. How do you live a life of ease in a society where the cards are stacked against you? What are the lies and confidence tricks that someone can use to get to the top? If the show keeps going, it could be an iconic role for Dunst, dressed in airbrushed Florida kitsch and sporting a twangy accent. But mostly, watching it made me realize how much I missed seeing the name “Kirsten Dunst” on the screen — and how underrated Dunst remains as an actor and artist.

It feels like a weird thing to say about an actor who’s been working steadily since she was 3 years old, who has headlined superhero blockbusters and used her name recognition to help bring small indie films (All Good Things, Bachelorette, Woodshock) by first-time directors to life. But unlike other women actors her age — Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman — Dunst didn’t win an Oscar in her ingenue phase (which, notably, is usually accompanied by a six-month marketing campaign arguing for excellence via method acting). Her most memorable role in the past few years has been her Emmy-nominated performance in Season 2 of FX’s Fargo, in which she costarred with her now-fiancé Jesse Plemons (who, for a certain crowd, will always be Landry from Friday Night Lights or creepy Todd from the final season of Breaking Bad).

In March 2018, Dunst gave birth to their son. So it’s understandable that she’s been working less frequently, save for the occasional role with friends (in Rodarte founders Laura and Kate Mulleavy’s 2017 debut film, Woodshock, and in Sofia Coppola’s controversial 2017 remake of The Beguiled). Dunst is now an actor at an interesting stage: a young mom, on the “wrong side” of 30, too old to play the ingenue but still too young to get the big, meaty, Frances McDormand roles.

In some ways, the manner in which Dunst is underrated feels germane to a very specific subgeneration of “old” millennials: They are burned out, working too hard, born in the early ’80s, now in their late thirties, with 40 looming and not too much to show for it, financially or otherwise. They are saddled with student loans, trying to get a toehold in rapidly contracting industries. They know how to use the post office and how to keep some things private. You can see this with Dunst’s, Hathaway’s, and Portman’s awkward social media presences on Instagram, where they’re uninterested in playing the influencer game and mostly post funny throwback photos and the occasional professional promo or earnest charity request.

Over the years, Dunst has evolved from a wise child actor to the embodiment of turn-of-the-century optimism in Bring It On’s Torrance and the barely contained rage in saltier roles like Leslye Headland’s Bachelorette. Dunst doesn’t change too much, physically, for a role. But she’s compelling onscreen because she combines talent with a knack for choosing strange characters and works with great directors. She could rest on mere prettiness, the fact that the camera loves her, but instead she showcases the roiling emotions inside, creating people who are ambitious, weird, sad, angry, and inexplicable.

Seldom follow Buzzfeed but whew, a (long) but well written piece that encapsulates all my thoughts on the most underrated actress of our generation, Kirsten Dunst.

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clearly people haven't seen her in Drop Dead Gorgeous.

"GOOD. 'cause this isn't an American Teen Princess Pageant! This is... this is... this is Nazi, Germany!" That Minnesota accent on POINT.

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She carried spider-man she deserved a career after that.

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Her resume of good movies is LONG.

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She’s a great actress and deserves more praise for her work.

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I mean Bright It On is literally iconic

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14 hours ago, Brandon said:

Her resume of good movies is LONG.

Not everyone can have the ability to perform showstopper scenes like this

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I feel like she's super talented, but lacks a certain star quality that prevented her from really hitting as a big movie star. Like in real life she's kinda bland. She should definitely be snagging Oscar bait roles and garnering more award acclaim with her contemporaries like Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Amy Adams and Michelle Williams though. But it's too late now as by Hollywood standards she's "past her prime" and doesn't really have the clout to get a big second wind in her middle age like Nicole Godman or sumn.

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I love Kirsten. She's highly underrated, and definitely deserves better.

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