Saturday, December 03, 2005

God's Birthday


If Julianne Moore Is God, and today is Julianne Moore's 45th birthday, then, by the transitive property, today is God's birthday. December is nothing if not replete with holy births.

The next moment of divine revelation will probably be Freedomland, if Revolution ever agrees on a release date. I finally saw the trailer for the first time yesterday, attached to Rent, so perhaps that's a good sign. Edie Falco's moments in said trailer were also a good sign, though hope runs high for all the actors involved—even if, as in Rent, they are heavenly bodies contending with a decidedly earthbound director. And I have to admit, the general atmosphere was giving off this semi-pedestrian Meryl-in-Before and After vibe.

But let us not talk of such things on Her birthday. Let us talk of Short Cuts, of Vanya, of her exquisite anger in The Myth of Fingerprints, of her perfectly calibrated voice and body in Boogie Nights, of her spookily zipped-up mouth in Cookie's Fortune and her frighteningly gabby one in Not I, of her savvy improvements on Vera Miles in Psycho and her game departures from Jodie Foster in Hannibal, of her uproarious performance art in The Big Lebowski, of doing the nasty on a divan in The End of the Affair, of losing her shit completely in the Magnolia drugstore, of her line reading of "What kind of car do you drive?" in World Traveler, of her frank uneasiness around her own child in The Hours, of her empyrean, purposefully mannered, emotionally telepathic Cathy in Far from Heaven.

And since I'm the guest-blogger, and I get to pick my own favorites, of her matchless work in Safe, rightly voted by the Village Voice as the best American performance of the 1990s, and anchoring almost every shot of that masterpiece film.

Happy birthday, Julie Ann Smith! You know what birthday present we would most like to give you, but it just isn't up to us—and frankly, it ain't up to The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, either. (Good try, though.) Geraldine Page didn't win till she was 61, Jessica Tandy till she was 79. It won't be that long for you. Just hang in there, girl.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Julianna Moore is soooooooooooooooooo over rated as an actress it's beyond anyone's control.

Ali said...

I always felt that the Haynes-Moore team would one day result in an Oscar for Julianne. I don't know if that will happen with Haynes' upcoming Bob Dylan "bio-pic" (for lack of a better word), but someday perhaps... He's directed Julie to the best two performances of her career, so I hope she wins an Oscar in the same regard.

adam k. said...

Happy birthday, Juli!

One of my dreams has been to grow up and write and direct a film for Julianne Moore to win and oscar for. That may not happen, but it would still be nice. She will get there someday.

Anonymous said...

I remember the first movie of Juli's that I saw was Magnolia. By the time she had her breakdown in the pharmacy, I was mesmerized. I saw everything - a spellbinding performer. Thinking of her "I love you" mantra in Safe still gives me chills.

Nick M. said...

Ms. Moore is undoubtedly one of the best actresses orking today -- but why no celebration of Woody Allen's birthday (which was two days ago)? He is more godly than Julianne.

Nick Davis said...

If Nathaniel had been around, I'm sure you would have heard about Woody. Woody Allen was, indeed, God at a pre-Juli period of Nathaniel's life. By leaving things up to his hobo helpers while he's away, there weren't no tribute to the Woodman on his 70th. (I do think he is less godly than Julianne.)

But so as not to disparage, you can't go wrong on a rental spree of Annie Hall, Interiors, Manhattan, Zelig, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Hannah and Her Sisters, Another Woman, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Husbands and Wives, and Bullets Over Broadway.

And Woody, cast Juli in something. She can do comedy, I'm sure she can!

Nick M. said...

Well -- I compensated with an entry devoted to Mr. Allen.

Julianne in a Woody feature? Sounds good.

But be careful what you say about Julianne and comedies -- fortunately, I never saw The Laws of Attraction.

Nick Davis said...

It's all about Believing, even without secular proof. ;)

Joe R. said...

So, in the spirit of Ms. Moore's birthday, I'm going to offer something of s devil's advocate defense of her comedic ability.

It's not that she can't be funny. It's not that she's never made a good comedy. It's just that she shines in comedy in a different way than she shines in drama. We all know that Juli is an impressive ensemble performer But she has also shown a marvelous ability to take the lead role in drama films and really kick ass with it.

Not so in comedies. Comedy, it seems for Julianne, is still an ensemble artform. Observe: An Ideal Husband. Or Cookie's Fortune. I refuse to believe that someone as uproariously hysterical as the woman behind Maude Lebowski doesn't have a knack for comedy. She's just not a great comic lead. (Yet?)

Of course, there are certainly source material issues at work, too. Because: The Laws of Attraction? Not so much.

Anonymous said...

I hate this argument about Julianne not being able to pull off comedy's. It's based on one lousy written movie, Laws of Attraction. Grant it, she's not slap-stick comedian like Lucille Ball, but then again Lucille Ball is no Meryl Streep. Just look at the comedic performance she thrived in An Ideal Husband, Cookie's Fortune and The Big Lebowski. These are closer to a Woody Allen movie and a performance he would expect out of his actors.

par3182 said...

nathaniel's gone awol and it's julie's birthday. coincidence?

something tells me girlfriend's getting a surprise...

moviefan said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JULIANNE!!!!!!!!!!! BEST LIVING AMERICAN ACTRESS!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday and congrats & thanks for . . .

..."Far From Heaven".
..."The Hours".
..."Magnolia".
..."An Ideal Husband".
..."Cookie's Fortune".
..."Shipping News".
..."Boogie Nights".
..."Big Lebowski".
..."The Forgotten".
..."Surviving Picasso".
..."Short Cuts".
and so on......

Still keep my fingers crossed for this year oscar.... or just an oscar nomination or just a golden globe nomination... for "The Prizewinner of Defiance Ohio" or "Freedomland" (the trailer looks great!!!). Come on, let it happen!!! I have not yet lost all my hope...

Kamikaze Camel said...

er, Freedomland is out in 2006 and it's out in February. It ain't gonna happen.

I'm not Juli's biggest fan, but I do like her. I hope she gets her groove back soon, Stella style.

adam k. said...

I think my first Juli movie was also Magnolia. Then I saw her in Boogie Nights later, and I remember when there was all the hubbub about her being in Hannibal. But I didn't really get obsessed with her until FFH/The Hours... then I saw Safe... then i went back and reexamined all her other stuff and realized how awesome she truly was. But now I'm losing the love a bit since she never makes good movies anymore. Sad.

I do agree though that she can do comedy. Just not stupid broad comedy. I think a Woody Allen film would be a great idea (or better yet, an Almodovar... Juli herself has said she'd love to work with him someday).

adam k. said...

And the Almodovar film she stars in should be a sequel to his film "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" entitled "Women in the Midst of a Nervous Breakdown", featuring Juli and others frantically crying and freaking out. It'd be awesome. She'd be best in show and win the oscar for it for sure.

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