Friday, April 29, 2005

god's gift

47 years ago today the heavens opened up and American cinema's coolest modern blonde icon was delivered unto Dick and Donna Pfeiffer in Santa Ana California. If you have yet to understand the rapture of Pfandom, may I suggest a triple bill of Scarface to see her acting breakthrough, The Fabulous Baker Boys to see her place in the cinematic pantheon cemented, and White Oleander to see the most recent proof of her mastery of the craft. (Additional good options if you've already seen those recently include: Dangerous Liasions, Married to the Mob, Love Field, Witches of Eastwick, Frankie & Johnny, Batman Returns, What Lies Beneath or even The Story of Us ...if you skip past the scenes where Bruce Willis and Michelle are trying to pretend that they're in their mid 20s in gauzy flashbacks)

For those with more severe time restraints or for those who have already been converted and would like to celebrate the day somehow ~ may I suggest the following:

THIS is the coolest Michelle Pfeiffer site on the web. Courtesy of the gorgeous and very smart Noelle (who I go way back w/ on the web so I'm biased... but it's a great site)
THIS one is also great, from cutie Morrissey.
THIS is mine -and there you can bone up on your Pfeiffer trivia or even read about the time when I gazed upon the actual woman as opposed to a celluloid projection of her gorgeousness. This occurred at the New York premiere of The Story of Us at the Ziegfeld theater...and it's one of my favorite moments of my New York life. Duh!

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

OK, she's great, and I love her too. But I can't sheepishly sit here and not confess that I hated her in "The Story Of Us". Sorry.

It may not be popular, it may not be clever, but I just had to get it out there. To my mind, Pfeiffer had a serious off-day when she filmed that hysterical (in every sense) monologue towards the end of the movie.

OK. Now that's out of the way: The Fabulous Baker Boys, Batman Returns, White Oleander, Frankie & Johnny...

...aaaaand I'm right back on track. Love her. She's a genius. The irksome monologue never happened.

Rob

NATHANIEL R said...

I agree that the final monologue was "off" in The Story of Us but one of my pfavorite scenes ever of the golden one is the scene in that film (I think near the middle?) where she's preparing for her "date" with her husband after the separation. I think she modulated that scene perfectly. I blame the director for the gauzy flashbacks and the strange let's have an overblown sentimental finale.

NATHANIEL R said...

Oh but while we're being honest I think Pfeiffer's worst performance once the career got going is Up Close and Personal that's the one I can't watch. But the film itself is horrible too.

She's so great in so many things that I can let it slide ;)

Nick Davis said...

Pfor the record, my pfavorite Pfeiffer perpformance is still her amazingly depft work in PFrankie & Johnny. Apfter all the pfracas where people thought she was too pretty to play the part, her PFrankie is utterly depfensive but also extremely likable, and she makes the whole movie pfeel real. Her impatience during the "open your robe" moment is classic Pfeiffer.

On the more superpficial note of when she was at her most beautiful, I submit that it was as Laura Alden in Wolpf.

Nick said...

I just recently realized Pfeiffer received a Globe nomination in 1990 for The Russia House, which I haven't seen. Is it or her performance in it any good?


*Makin' Whoopee*

darkcypherlad said...

Nick,

MP's perf in Russia House was indeed very good, despite some accent problems. I remember Pauline Kael went ga-ga over it, but PK was always a fan of MP.

I myself am a fan of MP's work, although I do feel her post-94 work has been severely lacking. I don't think I've enjoyed a simgle films of hers in a decade!

And I'm probably the only person who really enjoyed her work in "Grease 2" and "Wolf."

Anonymous said...

Also great is her majorly underrated work in "What Lies Beneath" (an enjoyable, misunderstood movie too).

-Ali

Anonymous said...

Seen Scarface, Fabulour Baker Boys and White Oleander so I'm set. While she isn't one of my favourites, I do like her. Thought she WAS good in What Lies Beneath and The Russia House (The Russia House is greatly underrated I believe).

However, is there no love for "One Fine Day" with George Clooney?

But, for the record, her Scarface perf is one of my favourite supporting (female) roles.

-Glenn

NATHANIEL R said...

ohmygod. How pfrightful that I pforgot One Fine Day and What Lies Beneath in my roundup of "will win you over" performances. She is any romantic comedy superstar's equal in OFD and she is simply unarguablyexcellent in WLB, despite what anyone wants to say about the movie itself: I say it was purposefully tourist-like funhouse homage other people say "hackwork" or "ripoff." I'm like "duh!" But Pfeiffer was pfantabulous.

She didn't have much to do in Wolf but is still good within. She does that animal lust lurking within the perfect human specimen thing really well: Ladyhawke, Batman Returns, Wolfand um Dangerous Liaisons. As for most beautiful in which movie... don't ask me to ever decide. It's a win win --because whichever movie you name you'll be correct.

As for Russia House I'm sure she's great in it but I cannot watch that movie. I know that it's generally thought to be good and I have seen it (twice) but I never feel like I'm absorbing it because I. am. bored. to. death. while watching it.

nick said...

darkcypherlad,

i think everyone honestly MUST love Michelle in Grease 2. Of course it's total guilty pleasure cheesey cornball milking-the-first-for-all-it's-worth entertainment, but she's so damn fun in it that it's watchable.

Nick Davis said...

My second pfavorite Pfeiffer performance has also gone unmentioned: it's the one in A Thousand Acres. As she showed pfive years before in Batman Returns and again pfive years later in White Oleander, Chelle really takes to the nasty streaks in her characters. Her Rose isn't as creative a performance as Catwoman was, but it's impressively and righteously spiteful. Sad to say, the pfilm isn't a patch on the amazing novel. In pfact, Pfeiffer's the only real reason to see it, but she nails you to your seat.

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