Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Actress -Ex Factor

In my listing on favorite actresses, I said about the following (listed below) that we had "broken up. The passion had dwindled..." My therapist feels I should work through these relationships --Analyze what went wrong so that I can move on and form new attachments. He warns me "Scarlett and Evan Rachel shouldn't have to share you with Winona and Helena! If you're not careful you'll lose them too!"

ANGELA BASSETT My heart still jumps when I see her in magazines or at awards shows but is there any mainstream Actress working that Hollywood seems to understand less? Why aren't they casting her? How do you go from charismatic and financially successful leading work in What's Love Got To Do With It, Waiting to Exhale, and How Stella Got Her Groove Back in the space of only a few years straight to the land of thankless supporting stock roles? How does this happen? I still can't figure it.

HELENA BONHAM-CARTER I blame Kenneth Branagh and Tim Burton. Oddly enough Merchant and Ivory, who probably didn't look at her with lust in their hearts, had far more respect for her great beauty. They never put her in hideous burn makeup or ape latex, now did they?

JULIETTE LEWIS If I ran the world, singularity would be much more crucial to an actors longevity and fame. Juliette Lewis is incomparable. Even if you hate her you'll have to agree. But what happened to the matching memorable roles? The background minor girlfriend / unfaithful wife role isn't really suited for someone whose gifts are this unique.

WINONA RYDER Remember those t-shirts that got popular for a split second "Free Winona!" She even modelled one on the cover of a magazine. The only person keeping Noni locked up now is Noni herself.

EMMA THOMPSON It was a good run but couldn't it have lasted longer? I know that for some fans TV movies are just as good as features for a fix of their favorite actors. Not true for me. I'm televisionally challenged...I'm sorry but I need that big screen for proper worship of my false idols.

22 comments:

Joe R. said...

I'm still holding onto the Emma Thompson torch. Every subsequent showing of "Love, Actually" on HBO just reinforces it.

I'm with you on the others, although I'm holding out hope that Helena can pull through for me.

I think if I were making a list like this, I might also include Sigourney Weaver (been picking some baaaad projects lately), Kirsten Dunst (sorry! she bugs!), and Rosie Perez (she was so good for, like, three movies!).

Nick Davis said...

My most recent breakups were with Naomi Watts and Jennifer Connelly. Both of their ranges just seem limited to me, despite their occasional intensity.

I will never break up with Angela Bassett, but you are totally right about her title as Most Ill-Used Actress in Hollywood.

David Shultz said...

The actress I'll forever be dedicated to: Kate Winslet, though I need to see more of her filmography. And Michelle Pfieffer is certainly growing on me (The Age of Innocence and White Oleander, my second and third Pfieffer outings, won me over).

The actress I no longer love so much? I'd say Scarlett Johansson, whom I still love..but I'm just a tad bit cautious; I'm waiting to see her really prove her range. Girl With a Pearl Earring was an excellent start, though.

Nick said...

Sigourney Weaver delivered wonderfully in Imaginary Heroes, actually. It was a crime that she and the film were so blatantly ignored. She should have definitely been able to land an oscar nomination with better promotion, and, if so, even might've had a chance at a win with her due factor.

And I feel like I'm the only one still holding onto Naomi Watts. She really blew me away again last year in We Don't Live Here Anymore. In those final scenes she just quietly, effortlessly nailed it. And I thought she was appropriately cooky in I <3 Huckabees as well.

The one actress who I am constantly hoping will make a sudden return to brilliance (and I know this will hit you close, Nathaniel) is Elisabeth Shue. She was just so incredible in Leaving Las Vegas and then....nothing. Why? How is it that someone so utterly talented and beautiful can't get great parts in Hollwood?

And, oh my god, what the hell ever happened to Geena Davis!? I desperately need to see her back in top form.

Mercedes Ruehl was great in Married to the Mob and fantastic in The Fisher King..fourteen years ago! Where has she been hiding.

I'm still increasingly pessimistically waiting for Kate Hudson to prove that Almost Famous wasn't a fluke.

And lastly, I'd love for Courtney Love to prove she's really got it again. Even if it was only once, she was really fantastic. She's playing Lady MacBeth opposite Peter Mullan in some film called Miss June, so who knows, I'm hopeful.

Joe R. said...

Yeah, I should have mentioned that I didn't get a chance to see Imaginary Heroes yet.

I totally agree on Geena Davis, Merceded Reuhl, and Kate Hudson, though.

As as great as she was in Leaving Las Vegas, I will always remember Elisabeth best for Adventures in Babysitting. I was young.

Anonymous said...

Full agreement that Emma Thompson needs to return with something magical. She was (by far) the best thing about the otherwise dreadful Love Actually, and I loved her in Wit & Angels In America... But her can-do-no-wrong period from Howards End to Sense & Sensibility now seems sooo long ago.

I'm also holding out for an Elisabeth Shue return. Post-Vegas she was great in the otherwise poor Molly, and impressed in The Trigger Effect too. But only about 12 people saw those movies. I think she would have absolutely nailed the role of Erin Brockovich, but the chances of her getting a role like that in place of Ms Roberts? Zippo.

My most recent breakup is with Angelina Jolie. She was this great life force who lit up the screen (I'm thinking Playing By Heart; Gia)... then she won an Oscar. Thereafter, bad project overkill seems to have removed whatever she had going on. A sad loss.

Rob

Anonymous said...

I am pulling for all the actresses mentioned on this page.

However "Molly" was just dreadly. A true F from me.

Man, Sigourney better get some bigger roles (or, in bigger movies that are actually good).

I am still in love in Naomi. Thought she was spectacular in Mulholland and I thought she was great in Huckabees and 21 Grams and King Kong could be quite entertaining. Not every actress who started off with a bang needs to continue giving brilliant performances in prestige pictures. I think Naomi has deserved to be able to have some fun on larger mainstream movies are languishing in direct-to-video hell.

Man, Rosie Perez was a firecracker in "Perdita Durango". And Courtney Love needs to get out of drugs and make some movies that aren't about child kidnappers.

I think Dianne Weist needs another great role soon though! VEERRY SOON.

-Glenn

Anonymous said...

What happened to Jennifer Jason Leigh?
She was excellent in Dolores Claiborne, The Hudsucker Proxy and Georgia. I think that she would fit into Juliette Lewis's category: weird sometimes, overacting. Love it or hate it.
Then, she was in a totally dispensable role in Road to Perdition.
She can do better than that. Use her.

Marcelo - Brazil.

Nick said...

The fact that Jennifer Jason Leigh still hasn't been nominated for an oscar is sort of freightening. I actually thought she was rather fantastic in the flawed but underrated In the Cut. Meg Ryan was also rather phenomenal in that as well.

Joe R. said...

I feel bad for actresses like Jennifer Jason Leigh. It really does seem like her "Oscar window" has passed by, and she was never a big enough star that she'll get "comeback" buzz if she does come around. It's a shame. That "Georgia" snub was bunk.

Nick Davis said...

Granting that '95 was a pretty strong year for the Actress category, and granting that these aren't Oscars cuppa, the absences of Leigh in Georgia and Moore in Safe are still perpetually embarrassing. I think Leigh also deserved a supporting nod in '90 for Miami Blues.

Nick, I loved In the Cut, too! I swear we aren't the same person, unless I'm having a Fight Club experience that I don't know about. (Then again, Watts utterly bored me in We Don't Live Here Anymore.)

Anonymous said...

Nobody feeling love towards Leigh's "Last Exit To Brookyln" performance (my fave of hers - the movie itself is great too!)?

Leigh had "The Anniversary Party" a few years back and her small "Road To Perdition" part... that's all I can think of.

In The Cut was pretty decent. It won Best Cinematography in my own personal awards... just so ya know.

...?

-Glenn

darkcypherlad said...

Oooh, all this talk of actress love makes me want to jump in. Hope no one minds:

Re: Bassett. I loved her in the mid-90s, but then the roles dried up and, what's worse, her acting became too affected. I think she was stuck in way too many "dignified woman" parts and subsequently wasn't willing to risk doing something...um, risky. Her comments re: Halle Barry's role in "Monster's Ball" only reinforce this.

To Nick Davis: You think the upcoming "Dark Water" and "King Kong" remakes will rekindle your love for Connelly and Watts? JC had me at "Labryinth"...

I've completely given up on Geena Davis and Kate Hudson. Davis has a terrific run in the early 90s but ever since "Cutthroat Island," her career's been in the toilet. She's coming back to TV next fall starring as the first female president, so we'll see how that pans out.

I've had lots of love for Hudson but she makes too many damn romantic comedies. I wouldn't mind it so much if they were like "Le Divorce" but really, "Raising Helen"? Bleh.

Angelina Jolie's appeal continues to mystify me. I don't think she's ever made a good film. Even "Gia", her breakthrough HBO pic, was bad. And don't get me started on "Girl, Interrupted" (look! I hiss back at cats! I'm baaaad). I think the low point of her career was "Beyond Borders," which produced one good thing: an excellent SNL parody with Kelly Ripa as Ms. Jolie ("I want to go beyond...beyond borders..."). With "Alexander" bombing and the upcoming "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" looking horrid, it looks like Jolie won't be stealing my heart anytime soon...

I'll add to the chorus and say that some of my favorite contemporary actresses include Kate Winslet, Sigourney Weaver, Scarlett Johanssen, and JJL pre-Georgia (which I was NOT a fan of). I also like Catherine O' Hara, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Marisa Tomei (who needs more good roles to show her range), Susan Sarandon, and any British Dame that graces the silver screen. I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but this post is already way too long, and I have work in the morning!

NATHANIEL R said...

All these comments are making me go "d'oh!" about various actresses but you can't include everyone in a 50 or even 100 slot sit'

On a side note ~ Not into JJL. Never have been. Enjoyed her in In the Cut and a couple of other things but for me she's always justthisside of overdoing it / overthinking it as performance goes.

I'm going to try to do this for ACTORS as well but it will be a lot more difficult. since I don't love them as much.

Nick said...

:( Actors just aren't as fun to worship. They're just not as godly and they're usually much harder to forgive when they make ridiculous career choices. There is often a scarcity of good female roles in Hollywood (see the aformentioned Road to Perdition role JJL was reduced to.) Actors can't really use that excuse, or at least as much. It's like "you've got a penis, go get yourself a good part already!!"

darkcypherlad said...

I know of at least one contemporary actor who deserves God-like worship: Clive Owen.

In the immortal words of Ruby Keeler, "Yow-eee."

David Shultz said...

Referring to the previous "actor" comment, I agree. Most of my guy friends dig male voices, but I worship the female voice: Tori Amos, Bjork, PJ Harvey, etc. Women, in voice and in film, are so much more fun to adore because they're so much more expressive/free/beautiful than men. I may be biased because I'm straight and love women in all ways, but who cares, I'll always prefer them in music and as actors-to-watch/worship.

(Did what I just write come out clearly at all? Eh, whatever...)

Nick Davis said...

David, FWIW, not only did you come through clearly, but I'm gay/bi/whatever, and I feel exactly as you do. So that settles it, right? Orientation aside, women are better? :) (And those specific women! PJ...)

Tony said...

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Tony said...

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Sim*Sim said...

I miss Angela Bassett like hell. Everytime I see her in a film its just a reminder of how amazingly talented she is and how much Hollywood sucks. I'll never break up with her either, I just wish she'd come back with a vengeance!!!

Keep updated on Angela http://angiebnews.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY! » »