My original choice for Valentine Wiggin would have been Chloe Moretz: thanks to Hit-Girl and Let The Right One In, we know she can play awfully tough when necessary while still retaining her girlishness. Plus, she and Asa Butterfield’s developed a really nice dynamic in Hugo.
But failing that, I’m delighted to hear that Abigail Breslin will be playing the part. Since her debut in Little Miss Sunshine, she’s been doing a series of roles that are solid but have none of the oddity, vulnerability, and conviction of that breakout part. Now, she has one.
I’m sure I’m not the only lady blogger, or lady nerd blogger, to feel like Valentine Wiggin is part of the reason we do what we do. I had no desire to manipulate the players in the Cold War when I was as young as she is. But the idea of finding a place where you can have a running conversation with anyone you want? Starting off playing pretend and finding your own voice–and then learning other people find it powerful? That’s a compelling pitch, particularly when you take away the potential-serial-killer-turned-world-leader older brother and the younger brother the state wants you to manipulate into committing xenocide.