Glenn from Stale Popcorn here to throw in two cents worth of discussion about the year 2001 per Nathaniel's request.
Last week for the year 2000 I discussed a favourite from that year that I felt had been criminally underrated. At least a lot of people have seen that movie for it to be underrated. The 2001 film that I want to shine a light on has been seen by about three people (and a goat).
If you had to ask me what profession has gotten the worst representation in the history of cinema I would probably point to stripping. Oh sure, we all love Showgirls but when paired up with Demi Moore's Striptease, the profession has never quite been the same. Throw in the absurd I Know Who Killed Me starring the ghost of Lindsay Lohan's career, the "all star" Spun and even the dead-boring (if you can believe it) Zombie Strippers and you've got a really bad sub-genre.
One of my favourite movies of 2001, however, is Dancing at the Blue Iguana. It's not great cinema by any means, but it's a fascinating film nonetheless. Principally made as an improvisational drama about the lives of five strippers in Los Angeles its main reason for existing seems to be to give three criminally underused actresses enough space to strut their stuff (in a manner of speaking). Daryl Hannah, Sandra Oh (before Grey's Anatomy stole her) and Jennifer Tilly are the three names you will know and each plays off of their perceived real-life personas. They play the ditzy blonde, smart girl and the loud vixen respectively and I can't tell you just how enjoyable it is to watch them on screen. Just thinking about this movie again makes me wonder what happened to Daryl Hannah's "comeback", Oh's non-TV career (seemingly restricted to cameos) and Jennifer Tilly period.
Sandra Oh gives a performance I rank amongst my five supporting actress finalists for 2001. Just watch as she performs a dance (to Moby's "Porcerlain", so yes it definitely was 2001, wasn't it?) in front of the boyfriend who was unaware of her career and you'll see why. The way her face becomes a literally blank wall with no feeling and expression.
The other reason why I like this movie is its representation of the city of LA. Director Michael Radford (who is currently prepping King Lear with Al Pacino) does a really great job of merging the dingy, grimey and concrete image of the city with the sunny side with its palm-tree lined streets and Melrose Place-esque apartment complexes. If anyone else has seen Dancing at the Blue Iguana then do speak up. I would be incredibly interested in hearing what you think.