Comparison of Characters Annette vs. Nancy

Table of Content

When analyzing the characters of Annette Reille and Nancy Cowan, it becomes clear that they have similarities as well as noticeable distinctions. These differences can be attributed to various interpretations of the character by different readers, as the tone and portrayal of certain lines or actions can significantly alter a character’s personality.

When reading, different readers may have varying interpretations of the characters. For example, I may view Annette as conciliatory, while Kate Winslet may have a different perception, altering the overall attitude. However, Nancy seems more focused on resolving the conflict than Annette. In the play, Annette tries to navigate the situation between the boys without causing further parental discord, and this conciliatory nature is evident numerous times.

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

Annette demonstrates her attempts to maintain harmony during a conversation with Veronique, stating, “We should be thanking you. We should” (Reza1258). She expresses gratitude towards Veronique after discreetly boasting about how she and Michel handled the situation. Annette’s admiration towards Veronique serves as a means to prevent any conflicts. Through this statement, along with others, Annette aligns herself with the parents and acknowledges that her son was at fault.

An important aspect to consider from Annette’s statement about being grateful is the presence of body language. Although the reading does not explicitly mention any physical movement or expressions, it seems that this line does not require them and is not particularly significant. Annette appears to be attempting to maintain a positive atmosphere by praising Bruno’s parents’ handling of the situation. Depending on how one interprets this play, Annette’s character could be portrayed in various manners.

In the movie, there is an instance where Nancy demonstrates this concept. She utters the exact same line but adds a sarcastic tone of voice and a slightly rude facial expression, completely altering its meaning. Another perfect example of the contrast between these characters occurs in the same scene when Veronique explains how she and Michel obtained Ferdinand’s name. Veronique mentions that if they were the boy’s parents, they would want to be informed. Annette responds with a straightforward “Absolutely” (Reza1259).

Kate Winslet’s portrayal of this line in particular was incredibly sarcastic, incorporating eye movements, a subtle shoulder shrug, and perhaps a nod of her head. These gestures added depth and meaning to the word that would not be conveyed through mere reading. Furthermore, this single line effectively reveals Nancy’s underlying motives. While Annette might have responded more enthusiastically, Nancy’s delivery of “Absolutely” in the film is concise and uncompromising.

The text demonstrates Nancy’s desire to leave and her disinterest in participating in the conversation, evident through her proximity to the apartment door and brief responses to questions. Annette showcases her conciliatory nature later in the play when the couples agree to enjoy the clafoutis prepared by Veronique. Following Michel’s praise for the delicious dessert and insistence that everyone have a slice, Veronique reveals her secret ingredient. Annette’s reaction upon learning that gingerbread crumbs were the special touch in the clafoutis is simply “Brilliant” (Reza 1262).

It seems like Annette is consistently complimenting Veronique to prevent her from getting upset and to maintain a smooth meeting. As mentioned earlier, Kate Winslet’s portrayal of Nancy in Carnage conveyed her reluctance to be present at the gathering, resulting in a line filled with attitude. This is evident when comparing the line “Brilliant” (Reza1262) previously mentioned. In the film, Nancy doesn’t genuinely believe that Penelope is brilliant; her tone implies a sarcastic “good for you” sentiment, indicating her lack of interest in the cobbler.

Kate Winslet effectively demonstrates her indifference through her tone of voice, accompanied by a subtle raising of her eyebrows. This non-verbal cue is universally recognized as a look of annoyance, and it mirrors the expression Nancy gives to Penelope in the film. Later on, in the same scene, Annette once again concurs with Veronique’s viewpoint after perusing her art books. When Veronique mentions engaging her children in cultural activities such as concerts, museums, and reading, and jokingly refers to themselves as eccentric believers in the soothing power of culture, Annette responds with agreement, saying “And you’re right…” It is uncertain whether this truly reflects Annette’s personal opinion or if she is merely trying to please Veronique. Annette seems too preoccupied with appeasing Veronique. Concurrently, in the film, Nancy also sifts through a table full of magazines like Annette did, but in response to Penelope’s remark -similar to Veronique’s- Nancy responds with a slight nod of her head. Once again, this subtle difference in attitude between Annette and Nancy highlights their contrasting perspectives on the situation.

In this response, Nancy displays a lack of concern for these individuals. She is only there to resolve the issues between their sons and wants to be finished with it; the additional information is not particularly important to her. Once the commotion from Annette falling ill is resolved, we observe that both Annette and Nancy are affected by their drinking. Annette becomes more candid and begins to express her opinions, although still somewhat restrained. She starts to disagree with Veronique, which is uncharacteristic of her, and openly shares her true feelings about her husband.

There is a scene where Annette reacts to one of Alain’s phone calls by disposing of the device in a vase of tulips. Her angry line after this incident is “His whole life!…” (Reza1294). This shows that Annette is upset with her husband and expresses it in a dramatic way. Similarly, in another scene, Nancy, who was initially uptight and ready to leave, becomes a relaxed woman who speaks her mind when she is drunk. In the movie Carnage, Nancy also takes her husband’s phone and drowns it, but her reaction seems to be different from Annette’s.

At first, Nancy bursts into laughter and playfully teases her husband Allen, causing her to move around the room in amusement. When Allen expresses his anger about his personal information being exposed, Nancy repeats the line previously spoken by Annette. However, Kate Winslet portrays this line differently, using it to mock and laugh at Allen. Despite their changes in behavior after becoming intoxicated, traces of their initial character still remain.

Both Annette and Nancy have similar lines between the play and movie. However, Annette appears more reserved in her statements compared to Nancy, who adopts a sarcastic tone. Throughout the play, Annette expresses her opinions cautiously, as if she does not want to offend the Vallons. On the other hand, Nancy openly speaks with sarcasm, possibly fueled by alcohol that impairs her control over hiding her attitude. Nevertheless, Nancy seems carefree and unaffected by this lack of control.

Both the play and the movie depict the two characters in distinct ways when it comes to their delivery of lines. Nevertheless, they both use body language to show a desire to make amends and find a resolution for their conflict. In the beginning of the play, Annette’s movements are minimal as she simply shuffles magazines, but her actions become more pronounced when she falls ill and throws her cell phone into a vase. Conversely, Nancy’s behavior in the movie is characterized by constant movement. She constantly shifts between sitting, standing, pacing back and forth, and can be observed in various locations like the living room, at the door, and in the hallway – all indicating her readiness to depart.

Throughout the movie, Nancy subtly communicates her desire to leave through nods and eye movements towards the door. Meanwhile, in the hallway scenes, she walks next to Allen, revealing her fear of being left alone. The distinctions between these characters are evident in their line delivery, attitudes, and body language. Despite appearing as if they come from separate narratives, they actually do not.

Interpretation of the content can vary depending on the reader. As demonstrated earlier, there was a clear difference in how I personally interpreted certain lines compared to Kate Winslet. This resulted in a significant discrepancy. Annette and Nancy, who are supposedly identical characters, have different approaches. One seeks reconciliation and agrees with the Vallons while the other intends to quickly resolve the argument without engaging in unrelated conversation about the boys’ park dispute.

Cite this page

Comparison of Characters Annette vs. Nancy. (2016, Oct 07). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront