Tuesday. Time for the sophomore edition of the new series: "A History Of..." Rather than pull a James Cameron who, fearing he'd never top Titanic just stopped making movies, I'll just work through this here sophomore slump. In the absence of a Gyllenhaalic burst-of-inspiration, I'm returning to my personal obsession, god herself. I worry for Julianne Moore these days. Especially when there's a small child in tow [onscreen].
1993-1995 Establishes herself as a great actress in a trio of critical darlings: Short Cuts, Vanya, and Safe. No children are seen in her vicinity.
1995 She plays Hugh Grant's preggers gal in Nine Months, exhibiting no discernable skill at romantic comedy whilst doing so. If I had known what portents this first screen pregnancy suggested, I would have thought this was a remake. Entertainment Weekly, eternally suckling from the teat of La Julia, momentarily comes up for air to suggest that Moore may be "the new Julia Roberts!" [Er, OK.... And also: calm down]
1996 Appears on Vanity Fair's Hollywood cover wearing nothing but a slip. She's anything but matronly. Unless by matronly you mean "yousexymotherf***er"(much hotter than Scarlett & Keira at any rate.)
1997 Receives her first Oscar nod for playing a porn star in Boogie Nights. But uh.oh. --here comes the shadow side: "Amber Waves" proves so indelible a creation that JM becomes Hollywood's go-to gal for slightly cuckoo inappropriately maternal characters. Casting directors and Julianne herself get caught in the typecasting undertow. Who knew that "Rollergirl" wasn't just a nubile hottie but a prophetess? 'Will you be my mommy?' indeed.
1999 Julianne grieves up a storm in A Map of the World when her child accidentally drowns.
2001 Escaping the germy grasp of tykes she trips and falls with other adults in bad sequels and unfortunate comedies.
2002 Both her peak and downfall. She displays truly awful parenting skills in not one. not two. but three roles. First there's an impactful supporting bit in World Traveller. She plays a woman obsessed with [gulp] an imaginary (or dead?) child.
With dangerously inept mommy roles descending on her like an avalanche, she squeezes out two Oscar noms. In Far From Heaven her parenting style is set permanently on ignore mode [If your husband looked like this and only wanted to sleep with men, you'd ignore your kids, too. Don't judge.] In The Hours Juli completely abandons her needy beautiful son after a cake baking session gets too intimate for her bookish sensibilities. But that little boy, those huge pleading eyes--my heart...ouch. How could she?
2004Vanity Fair again. The theme of this Hollywood Issue is "Moms" or "Moms to Be". I'm not kidding. The Forgotten becomes Juli's biggest headliner hit. In it she plays a mother with [gulp] an imaginary (or dead?) child.
Is this recap too subtle?
2005 Birth control be damned. Julianne's alter ego has 10 children in The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. Unfortunately neither the film nor the kids are imaginary.
2006 Freedom Land brings Juli back with toddler in tow--oops. Spoke too soon. He just went missing. He may already be dead. Next Julianne Moore will appear in The Children of Men. The plot involves Julianne trying to save a miraculously pregnant woman whose child's birth may save mankind.
This gives me pause.
Is it really a good idea to leave Ms. Moore responsible for the profligation of the entire species? I'm thinking this role is a better fit.
A History of... Gay Cowboys