I watched the movie Anne of Green Gables: The Good Stars on public television last Thursday night, November 23, with famed actor Martin Sheen playing Matthew Cuthbert, the warm-hearted elderly bachelor in the story. Ella Ballentine played the role of the imaginative Anne, who is a challenge for the elderly couple who adopt her. Ballentine, a Canadian actor, is well known in the role.
I could not help comparing the performance of our own Vivian McLean, who played Anne in the musical held in Ashcroft earlier this month. Naturally, the interpretation of the two actors differed. Ballentine’s was more “intellectual”, self-critical, as Anne’s capacity for distractions that take her away from her good intentions seems to dog her path to acceptance. Vivian’s interpretation of the role was more outward, even fantastical, as McLean immersed herself in the complex personality of a pubescent girl who is obviously different.
Jim Mertel’s interpretation of the role of Matthew Cuthbert also differed from Martin Sheen’s. I thought Jim captured the simple, kind-hearted nature of the character very well.
The point of this letter is to affirm how very, very fortunate we are in Ashcroft and area, to have the talent we have; a talent that compares with that of working professionals. I think this is entirely unique, given the size of our populations.