Remember when you saw Dakota Fanning in War Of The Worlds and thought "you creepy little girl" or when you saw Dakota Fanning in Dreamer and thought the same thing – imagine what you'll think after you see her get raped in her new film.
Dakota Fanning is at Sundance to promote her new movie Hounddog, all about a little girl who gets raped a lot. There's probably more to Hounddog than that, but judging by the horrified outcry from the media and public you'd think the whole film was comprised of one long slowed-down take of Dakota Fanning being raped in the most disturbing and grizzly way imaginable. But, hey, even though she's only 12, Dakota Fanning has no time for criticism of the rape scene in Hounddog, and she's ready to beat the skulls in of anyone who says that a film about a young child being raped by an older man is tasteless.
Dakota Fanning isn't like most child actors; even in her most fluffy film roles, Dakota Fanning has brought an extraordinary maturity and gravitas to the part. Exhibit A – look at Dakota Fanning's jumpy, paranoid, haunted performance in the otherwise useless Hide & Seek, and then look at the big-toothed girl from Narnia. There's a world of difference. Sure, Dakota Fanning might one day fall foul of other Spielberg-friendly childstar fates – she might take cocaine like Drew Barrymore or get loaded on booze and pot and flip her car over like Haley Joel Osment – but for now it's hard to deny that she isn't gifted, even in crap like that lovely Dreamer movie about the horse.
Just to show how preternaturally talented she is, Dakota Fanning is in Sundance to discuss her new movie Hounddog, although you may know it better as Oh My God It's That Film Where Dakota Fanning Gets Totally Raped. To call Hounddog controversial would be a massive understatement – social groups are denouncing Hounddog left, right and centre with some religious groups even claiming that making a 12-year-old girl do a rape scene is illegal, despite the fact that the scene is less than a minute long, contains no nudity and was filmed in a way that would make Dakota feel as comfortable as possible. But USA Today reports that Dakota Fanning doesn't care what you think – she loved Hounddog:
Some who bashed the film's concept "were attacking my family and me, and that's where it got too far," says Fanning, 12, jabbing her finger into a table at a restaurant. "Pretty much everybody who talked about it attacked my mother, which I did not appreciate. That was extremely uncalled for and hurtful." … Fanning said that even if she hadn't been in the movie, she would want to see it… "I know my mom would take me to see it," said Fanning, who turns 13 in February. "You have to prepare your children for things that happen in the world. Everything isn't rosy."
There's no doubt that Hounddog will get Dakota Fanning noticed – even if only by audiences of horrified grown-ups weeping into their hands and screaming "Why did you stop making films about happy magical spiders, Dakota, WHY?" But the real reason we think Dakota Fanning starred in Hounddog was because she badly wants an Oscar next year, and if it takes an upsetting child rape scene to get it then that's what she'll do. We just hope that Dakota's Oscar plan works, or else next year she'll probably star in a movie where she's mutilated, forced into taking heroin and made to make harrowing animal porn films by an army of bukkake-loving paedophiles.
Or Cat In The Hat 2. Whichever one's more traumatic.