Zoe Saldaña joined Mark Ruffalo for her most heartbreaking performance

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The Big Picture

  • Zoe Saldaña’s performances in popular franchises demonstrate her ability to bring depth and charisma to action films, despite being covered in makeup or acting through a computer-generated body.
  • In the independent drama Infinite Polar BearSaldaña delivers a heartbreaking new performance as Maggie, a responsible mother dealing with the financial and emotional challenges of her husband’s bipolar disorder.
  • The film highlights Saldaña’s range as an actress, showing her ability to portray sensitivity and determination, while also capturing the pain of separation and the complexity of a mother’s desire and sacrifice.

Zoe Saldana has made waves as one of the biggest female action stars of our time, playing lead roles in three major franchises. She plays Gamora in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Uhura in Star Trek, and Neytiri in James Cameronand franchise avatar. It’s still a remarkable achievement that Saldaña has been able to add such depth and charisma to performances where she’s often covered in make-up or acting through a computerized body, like keeping a personality unique within a film franchise ruled by the action sequences and plot mechanics. it is not an easy task. However, Saldaña’s success in blockbusters should in no way indicate that she is only better in action films. Saldaña gave a heartbreaking performance in the epic independent drama Infinite Polar Bear in a team-up with Mark Ruffalo. The opening hit of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival showed her experiencing both the warmth and determination of a special mother.

Unlimited Polar Bear Movie Poster

Infinite Polar Bear

Release date
January 19, 2015

Maya Forbes

Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Keir Dullea, Wallace Wolodarsky, Mary O’Rourke, Georgia Lyman


Running time
90 minutes

Main Character

Drama, Comedy, Romance

Sony classic pictures

Maya Forbes

What it takes to keep a family together

What is ‘Infinitely Polar Bear’ about?

Infinite Polar Bear follows the touching romance between aspiring law student Maggie (Saldaña) and her husband Cam (Ruffalo) as they try to find a life together under tight financial conditions in the Boston area in the late 1970s. While the couple has a sense of respect for each other, it’s clear that Maggie is the responsible party in the relationship, and Saldaña conveys that sense of maturity. Cam suffers from bipolar depression, and a mental breakdown means that he loses his job and spends a lot of time in the hospital. This puts Maggie in a very difficult situation that Saldaña captures in a sad nature in this film. Maggie cares a lot for Cam and hopes to see him recover as soon as possible, but she also understands that there are additional hospital bills or living expenses to deal with. his position. it will only put the family under greater financial burden.

As well as looking after Cam, Maggie is also in the midst of raising two young daughters, Amelia (Imogene Wolodarsky of charge) and Religion (Ashley Aufderheide). Although both children have the same sense of self-respect and responsibility as their mother, they are also young and have to deal with a changing financial situation and a struggling family. They tend to get awkward and moody, and Maggie has to put her foot down at the necessary times. Saldaña does a good job of showing what issues Maggie has to be very sensitive about, and the rare times when she has her voice raised. Although it breaks her heart to come down hard on her daughters, she knows that a little roughness is all they need to survive, and she knows this better than anyone. ‘ most. This is where a bit of the challenging edge is Star Trekand Lieutenant Uhura and the warrior spirit of the Avatarand Neytiri can be seen in Saldaña’s show.

Although Maggie’s life in many ways revolves around her children, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have any desires of her own. Her goal is to win a scholarship to attend Columbia University, where she knows that a professional internship and an MBA degree will help prepare her family for a long-term financial future so they won’t be stuck in the slums of the struggling Boston area for the rest of their lives, because her children are both. brilliant and deserving of a proper educational experience in a private school. However, attending school would force her to leave her daughters with Cam in Boston while she studied in New York, which is an even bigger challenge. Can she trust a man she’s been watching has a mental breakdown to take care of the children she loves so much? Saldaña’s performance must portray the inner conflict that Maggie must deal with: she can’t be completely honest with Cam lest he have a strong emotional response, and given the maturity of her daughters, the complexity of their situation is not something she can easily put into words in a way they can understand.

Zoe Saldaña Shows Pain of Separation in ‘Infinitely Polar Bear’

The film’s 1970s setting helps contextualize Maggie’s struggles and make the burden of her responsibilities even more challenging. As a Black mother studying law in New York, she has to deal with being undervalued and discounted for her skills. She needs to show some level of desire to convince her legal employers that she deserves to be a candidate, but without making them feel uncomfortable. It’s a complicated problem she has to deal with, and there’s a quiet, quiet anger in some of the forced laughs Saldaña has to give. However, with each of these situations, there is a moment where Saldaña’s performance deteriorates and she has to admit a painful truth to anyone who wants to hire her: she has children. While Maggie knows this will make her chances of landing a full-time job even more challenging and that any employers will immediately judge her, she knows it’s a conversation that needs to be had treated in the first place before she can make a long-term condition. commitments.

Amidst these difficult circumstances, there is room for occasional celebration on the rare weekends when Maggie takes a break from her studies to visit her daughters and check on their father in Boston. . It’s clear that she’s rude and overworked to the point of exhaustion, but Saldaña shows no fatigue in her performance when Maggie spends time with her family. Although they may take away from her time studying for tests, the home visits help her remember what she is working towards. If giving her children a better life is not the ultimate goal, what is the reason for making such an intense commitment?

Infinite Polar Bear the kind of Sundance drama that’s likely to disappear if it doesn’t become an awards contender, but the underwhelming film features two of the industry’s most popular actors doing some of the work most advanced in their own careers. While Gamora and Bruce Banner have their place, Infinite Polar Bear reminding us that there is a limit to the expression that actors like Zoe Saldaña and Mark Ruffalo can show in the MCU. In Saldaña’s case, she’s really at her best when she can step out from behind a green screen and sink her teeth into such a unique character.

Infinite Polar Bear available to stream on Max in the US

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