The Queen of pop/ businesswoman/ kabbalist/ mother/ 90's tabloid fodder/ safe sex advocate/ sex advocate/ entrepeneur/ icon is celebrating her 51st birthday today (and with those arms!). But along with everything she's done, many people forget (on purpose mostly...) that she's also an actress/director. The notorious perfectionist has never been able to master the cinematic arts, even if she tries and tries and tries. But since it's her birthday we should acknowledge that not all she's done for the silver screen is bad and since we can't take a holiday to get into the groove with her, here's...
51 Reasons to Celebrate Madonna... in the Movies!
51. Daring to take on a role created by Katharine Hepburn...sort of in Who's That Girl.
50. Her endorsement of Michael Moore.
49. Setting a whole new clothing trend with Desperately Seeking Susan.
48. Her deep love for classic films.
47. Looking cute despite reviews in Shanghai Surprise.
46. She didn't get to play Ginger McKenna in Casino, but we know how that turned out for Sharon Stone.
44. She didn't get to play Roberta Guaspari in Music of the Heart, but we know how that turned out for Meryl Streep.
43. The cute anecdote about endorsing Sean Penn's first gay kiss in Milk.
42. The "Vogue" sequence in The Devil Wears Prada.
41. Her delicious line delivery in Dick Tracy.
40. Warren Beatty's cameo in Truth or Dare.
39. She didn't get to play Catwoman in Batman Returns, but we know how that turned out for Michelle Pfeiffer.
38. Dreams of the Chicago that never got made with her as Velma Kelly.
37. She didn't get to play Susie Diamond in The Fabulous Baker Boys, but we know how that turned out for Michelle Pfeiffer (hmmm am I smelling a thing in the weird fact that the performances she doesn't get end up with Oscar nods...)
36. She didn't get to play Frida Kahlo in Frida, but we know how that turned out for Salma Hayek. She even thanked Madonna, because without her the movie would have never been made.
35. Francis Ford Coppola is a fan of Madge!
34. "Into the Groove" from Desperately Seeking Susan!
33. Her concerts involve video art that make any artsy film flicker in comparison...
32. "Who's That Girl"...the song.
31. That performance of "Sooner or Later" at the Oscars.
30. She didn't get to play Bess McNeill in Breaking the Waves, but we know how that turned out for Emily Watson. It's rumored that Lars von Trier wanted her badly to play this part!
29. "I'll Remember" from With Honors.
28. "This Used to Be My Playground" from A League of Their Own.
27. The Fabier Baron footage from "Erotica" which became an underground documentary of sorts.
26. Introducing us to Adriano Giannini, and his abs, in Swept Away.
25. For being so moving in "I'm Going to Tell You a Secret".
24. Without "Like a Virgin" we'd never have that hilarious prison sequence in the Bridget Jones' sequel.
23....or Jim Broadbent's divine interpretation in Moulin Rouge!.
22. Her homage to Marilyn in "Material Girl".
21. "Crazy For You" from Vision Quest.
20. Making fencing look sexy in Die Another Day.
19. ...and trying to give her cameo some depth by making her a lesbian.
18. Her care for the world as shown in "I Am Because We Are".
17. "Beautiful Stranger" from Austin Powers: the Spy Who Shagged Me
16. "Die Another Day" from Die Another Day (does this make her the only artist who's made songs for James Bond and a Bond spoof?)
15. Her decadent Guinness world record from Evita -- most costume changes in a movie -- which had been held before by Liz Taylor in Cleopatra.
14. The original "American Life" video which is more political than anything being done in movies today.
13. She's Gwyneth Paltrow's best friend.
12. Her directorial debut Filth and Wisdom isn't as bad as they say, it has some Richard Lester vibe to it.
11. Playing Madonna in Truth or Dare. Call her what you will but she's a movie star in this one!
10. Reminding us how refreshing the HFPA's choices can be sometimes by winning Best Actress over eventual Oscar winner Frances McDormand in 1996.
9. Both her husbands have been in the movies and are great at their craft...the first one more than the latter, but still...
8. Bringing sexy back to German Expressionism in the "Express Yourself" video.
7. Bringing the musical back, sorta...with Evita and proving she can be a good, award worthy actress when needed.
6. Showing us that documentaries can make profits.
Truth or Dare was huge in its day.
5. Her groundbreaking work with top notch movie directors in her videos.
4. Christopher Walken in the "Bad Girl" video paved the way for his brilliant work in "Weapon of Choice" years later.
3. Her homage to Joan Crawford in "The Power of Goodbye" video.
2. The Luc Besson musical she never got to make inspired "Hung Up" (her greatest single this decade).
1. The video for "Vogue".
It's arguably the greatest music video of all time and its love of cinema is just so evident, it probably encouraged a million people to seek the work of the people she mentions in the interlude. And that is spectacular in every single way!