Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Julianne Moore - Time Traveller

To date we've seen the great Julianne Moore receive two Oscar nominations for playing 50s housewives. In Far From Heaven(for which she should have won her second or third Oscar followingSafe and Boogie Nights) she played Cathy Whitaker, trapped in social mores of the time into an unhappy marriage. It was a rather astounding recreation of Sirkian melodrama and up to the minute political resonance . In The Hours she essayed a certain bookwormish Laura Brown trapped in social mores of her time within a loveless marriage.

Next up is The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio in which she portrayed another 50s housewife in an unhappy marriage. Actually the trailerto this film leads us to believe that the third time may be the charm. What I mean is.... maybe there's a connection between marital portrayal and Oscar love. We all know that the Oscar loves longsuffering but eternally devoted spouses as evidenced by many Oscar wins and nominations. So, maybe if her onscreen marriage actually survives the film's duration than Oscar may read it as a happy ending and bestow her the Oscar as well? We shall see. Early press on this movie portrayed it as more of a comedy than the trailer suggests. But my hopes are now higher. I'm guarded still, though, considering I had trouble with the preciousness of Normal, the last effort from Prize Winner's writer/director Jane Anderson.

Next up Julianne will be leaving the 50s (Hooray). The eternally busy actress has five more films lined up. In two of them (Next, The Children of Menshe plays maternal figures in the future. Watch out Oscar, she's doubling again! two more are potentially searing dramas (Freedomland, Savage Grace) and she will make her third appearance in a Todd Haynes film as well for good measure.


par3182 said...

When I read the book some years ago I thought "that's an award winning role for an actress (if it's a quiet year)". Julianne Moore should be a good fit.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to Ms. Moore's trailer. It looks interesting, but might be too similar to some of her previous work to be Oscar bait. I think Julianne Moore will finally win her long deserved Oscar for playing a role closer to Magnolia or Boogie Nights. Something like Jessica Lange's win for Blue Sky or Meryl Streep's role in Plenty. Julianne Moore would kill in a role like those.

And while I'm at it... what's with all those votes for Maggie Gyllenhaal??? She's fine but she's not Jake!! Didn't realize you had so many female and/or straight male readers.

And also... Venice announces its lineup Thursday (tomorrow). Hoping for the announcement of Brokeback Mountain's world premiere.

Anonymous said...

Maggie Gyllenhaal kicks her brother's ass, if only for Secretary.

As for the trailer, well, honestly - it looks like a movie I'll be skipping.

Anonymous said...

Fingers crossed for Julianne. But I'm now wise to the fact that Hilary Swank is forever hovering; ready to pounce out of nowhere and ruin everything.


Joe R. said...

It's one of those trailers that tell far more of the story than it should, if you ask me.

And I hope Woody's character shows a bit more dimension than was displayed here, because the dude was just all-scowl, all the time.

And I hope Laura Dern has a decent sized role, because I love her.

And I hope Julianne gets an Oscar nod, because I love her, too.


Joe you're having a love fest.

Rob, don't remind us. Please. Let me live Skank-less.

anonymous you might be right.

par3182, is that a book worth reading?

Anonymous said...

I don't know, Film Bitch. I've cried myself to sleep many nights over Julianne's double defeat in '02, so I'd love to think she'd win in 2005. But I was underwhelmed by that trailer ...besides, DreamWorks (ImageMovers, whatever) is sure to concentrate its Oscar campaigning on Spielberg's cleverly-titled Munich project.

Or perhaps I'm thinking too hard about it all?

adam k. said...

This does NOT look like an oscar-winning role, sorry to say. I'm sure it will strike many as a lightweight rehash of her 2002 nominated roles, and "lightweight rehash" is not a formula for winning awards. That said, I do think it looks like a huge step up from her 2004 slate, and it might turn out to be one of those rare times when Ms. Moore achieves success in lighter/comedic material. But one of her best roles? I doubt it. I predict a comedy globe nod (if the film is a success) but no more. For actual oscar play, Juli will most likely have to wait for the Savage Grace/Freedomland one-two punch to knock out voters. But if one of those makes it to theaters this year (definitely possible) she could be looking at a double globe nom and major awards-season attention. That's what I'm hoping for.

adam k. said...

Ooh, Nathaniel, question: Do you really think Moore should have won for Safe? I thought Elizabeth Shue was the love of your life that year. And of course there was Sarandon. And Kidman, Thompson, Streep, etc. I'd be curious to know who were your fave five that year, and who you REALLY think deserved the top prize. That's one of those lineups for which I'd love some retrospective filmbitchawardery.


as per the 1995 lineup.

My ballot woulda looked exactly like this w/ no hedging:

Nicole Kidman -To Die For
Julianne Moore -Safe
Elisabeth Shue -Leaving Las Vegas
Susan Sarandon -Dead Man Walking
Meryl Streep -Bridges of Madison...

It's not that Silverstone, Thompson, and the rest weren't good that year. It's that the aforementioned five were all non-embarassing choices for the actual statue had history turned out differently. That's five really awesome star turns in one year. A great great year for that category.

@ the time my vote totally went to Shue. But Moore's performance in Safe has aged incredibly well and continues to be an absolutely marvel of minimalism and directorial vesseling... or sumthin' like that. A strong case can be made for either says me.

I'm more excited for Savage Grace than all the other upcoming Moore films combined but I'll believe that one when I see it. The info on it has been so unreliable to date.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, for what's it worth, Safe is one of - maybe THE - best Moore performances ever. She should definitely have won. But then what the hell do I know about such things? After all these years with Nathaniel the Oscars are still pretty much an impenetrable mystery to me.

NicksFlickPicks said...

Julianne Moore in Safe = Best Performance in an American movie in the 1990s, by anyone. Gauntlet = thrown. Bring it.

Not that I didn't love Shue and Streep, who woulda duked it out for my vote out of the very competitive 5-way race Oscar actually came up with. Jennifer Jason Leigh shoulda been in there for Georgia, and Sarandon mighta been fifth. I watched To Die For again recently and the performance seemed a little obvious to me. (I was never a huge fan, and am even less so now, though I still like the work.)

NicksFlickPicks said...

Forgot to add: after The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, Jane Anderson has my allegiance for life. (She didn't direct that one, but she sure wrote a helluva script.) Julianne and Woody seem like an uneven match in the ol' thesping department, but I'm still eager to see the movie. I'm betting I should make a point of it on opening weekend... not thinking this one'll be around too long.

(Which, by the way, how has Yes already vanished into thin air? Dammit.)


Nick lives!

I agree that Kidman's To Die For performance is the weakest in the five I listed. And agree it's a little obvious. (Not that I felt that the first couple of times --but it doesn't retain mystery the way truly 'masterpiece' performances like Moore's in Safe do) But I still think it's a keeper and it was the key performance in unlocking her future worth I think.

Joe R. said...

I'm the only one I know who does this, but I tossed in Kathy Bates for Dolores Claiborne in '95.

I think it's a greatly underrated movie, and probably the most well-adapted Stephen King book ever. And Bates was probably the only actress who could have played Dolores, and she did it brilliantly. No traces of Annie Wilkes there, either, which might have been a temptation when she went back to King.

Not having a cheat sheet to look at, I believe I nommed her with Shue, Sarandon, Moore, and Kidman.

Anonymous said...

I love Julianne in a scary way and hope this project succeeds. I'm also seriously looking forward to her coming attractions, particularly her collaborations with Kalin and Haynes. Both sound fascinating and should provide great opportunities for her typical actorly brilliance.

In a perfect world, Juli would have four Oscars already (for Safe, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and Far From Heaven). I know it's overkill, but I think she's great in each of them. The only one I sometimes doubt is the win for Magnolia, on days when I think Keener or Sevigny would have been better choices. It was such a thrill, though, to see her go over the top in a big way, and her breakdowns in the pharmacy and lawyer's office remain favorites among Moore's great scenes.

Am I crazy?

par3182 said...

nate, regarding the book - not really.

adam k. said...

Yeah, JM really was awesome in all four of the Haynes/Anderson collaborations. Does anyone know what her role is all about in Haynes' new Dylan film?
I think in typical oscar-logic, she should've won two: for Boogie Nights and Far From Heaven, though Safe and Magnolia were brilliant also. She also should've been double-nommed in 99, without a doubt. And I do think that despite her lack of fame at the time, she should've been nominated for Safe, absolutely (I think it's the critics' fault for not rallying round her at the time).
If the academy had better taste, it would've gone:
Vanya: first notice
Safe: first oscar nom (lead)
Boogie Nights: 2nd nom, first win (supporting)
End of the Affair, Magnolia: double nom, takes her to 4
Far From Heaven: 5th nom, 2nd win (first lead win).

Vanya and The Hours were also arguably worthy of nods, but I think the other 5 should really have happened just like that... too bad it took everyone so long to catch up. Such is the nature of genius.

adam k. said...

Isn't it a little astonishing that Kidman was left off the list that year after she won the comedy globe, BFCA award and some critics awards? It really must've been that feeling of "she just got where she is by Cruise-ing". Eh.

Anonymous said...

Julianne should have 6 nominations by now:

- Vanya on 42nd Street
- Safe
- Boogie Nights
- The End of the Affair
- Magnolia
- Far From Heaven

Am I the only one who's bothered by the complaints re: the similarity of her roles - i.e. the 50's housewife thing?

This can only really refer to two of her performances I guess (The Hours and Far From Heaven), and though the characters are similar in many ways, I think the performances themselves are quite different. And "Prize Winner" looks to be quite different as well.

I am somewhat worried, though, because this role seems like more of a showcase for movie-star-charisma type thing than an acting showcase. Great an actress as Julianne is, I'm not sure she can do the movie star thing. Her past forays into such films haven't exactly been successful (granted, the movies themselves weren't very good either). On the other hand, she did just fine in "The Forgotten"; she and the movie were very entertaining, if immediately forgettable.

adam k. said...

Actually, this trailer is growing on me. JM seems to be nailing the mainstream/happy movie thing. And she sure does look an awful lot like Laura Brown there, doesn't she? Maybe if Laura had had the opportunity to write jingles for money, she wouldn't have left her family? Yay, happy ending. Don't know about that brunette hair, though. Yikes.

Anonymous said...

julianne should ALWAYS be a redhead

Anonymous said...

As much as I like Julianne Moore, I think the love that Nat and several others here feel for her I feel for Nicole Kidman (she would've won in 95 if I had a say with Shue a very close second.)

And in 2002 my vote would've gone to the supremely excellent - and completely unexpected - Diane Lane in Unfaithful. About as excellent, mysterious and sexy as they come (the performance AND the performer). Julianne being a close second. My other 3 nominees that year were Evalyn Sampi for Rabbit Proof Fence (in third), Nicole Kidman for The Hours (in fourth, if purely because it's really a supporting role) and Jodie Foster just sneaking in for Panic Room; however I was impressed with Alison Lohman and Salma Heyak.

My best actor that year was David Gulpilil for The Tracker, which I doubt anyone has seen, unfortunately.

I haven't actually seen "Safe" as if was only released THEATRICALLY here earlier this year. Yes, A MOVIE FROM 1995 WAS RELEASED IN AUSTRALIA IN 2005. I... didn't understand why either.


adam k. said...

OK, the trailer's stopped growing on me and is now shrinking, because that brunette hair is REALLY not working. She doesn't match! No one with that kind of fair skin and frecklage would ever have dark hair. No way, no how. Plus, Woody Harrelson's character and acting look supremely annoying. But I'll see it anyway. I'm sure Juli'll be great.

Anonymous said...

Re: Juli as a brunette.

To those who think people with Juli's complexion would not have that kind of hair color, allow me to direct your attention to a little country called Ireland.

I'm doing research in Donegal this summer, and I can assure you that there are many, many people here with dark hair, freckles, and transluscent skin. Besides, I'm one of them!

Interestingly, some of these people have hair so dark it's almost black - not that this has anything to do with anything, but it looks totally dramatic and beautiful I think.

A minor issue of course.

I agree on the Woody thing - hopefully his character is actually more three-dimensional.

Anonymous said...

OK, I'm going to incur wrath here. Disclaimer: I think Julianne is a Great actress (with a capital "G"). But I have to confess I can't find room for her in either my 1995, 1999 or 2002 Lead Actress categories. I WANT to, but I can't.

For those remotely interested, in 1995 I'd say:
1 Elisabeth Shue (Vegas)
2 Meryl Streep (Bridges)
3 Susan Sarandon (Dead Man)
4 Nicole Kidman (To Die For)
5 Sharon Stone (Casino)

In 1999 I'd say:
1 Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry)
2 Kate Winslet (Holy Smoke)
3 Janet McTeer (Tumbleweeds)
4 Annette Bening (American Beauty)
5 Reese Witherspoon (Election)

And in 2002 (the year I'm most guilty about since I LOVE Far From Heaven) I went:
1 Diane Lane (Unfaithful)
2 Meryl Streep (The Hours)
3 Jennifer Aniston (Good Girl)
4 Samantha Morton (Morvern Callar)
5 Maggie Gyllenhaal (Secretary)

If it redeems me in any way, she takes #1 position for Support in 1997 for Boogie Nights.



Rob your list from 2002 is great. with the exception of Jennifer Aniston. How that dry one note performance can read in any way as superior to Julianne Moore's is forever a mystery to me

Anonymous said...

See, I don't think it's dry in the slightest. I think it's finely nuanced, and a performance which made me sit up and take notice of an actress I thought I had pegged.

It may be a little one note, but I felt it was the RIGHT note.


adam k. said...

Re: Re: Julianne as a brunette

OK, I've never been to Ireland, but I have seen Irish people, and I guess you're right. Translucent people can have that hair color. Oops. It's the freckles that really throw me. I always associate immense frecklage with red hair. Plus, it's Julianne. She always has red hair. ALWAYS. Anything else looks wrong. Or rather, looks dyed... and this character, I trust, wouldn't have dyed-blackish hair. So it's unsettling for me as a viewer.
Seriously, though, has she EVER dyed her hair for a role? (I'm really curious to know) Cause the FFH blonde was a wig.


If you can't find room, MAKE room. Dump Aniston, Witherspoon, and Stone. All were good, but in no way better than the Moore perfs in their years.

Anonymous said...

I also wanted to mention Juli's less talked about but still excellent turns in Cookie's Fortune, An Ideal Husband, and World Traveller.

Those performances were lost in the hype surrounding her higher profile films in their respective years, but they're still good performances.

Anonymous said...

Much as I love Julianne Moore, I thought she was pretty awful in 'Cookie's Fortune' - definitely the worst of a fine cast.
I wasn't too impressed with her in 'The End Of The Affair' either in which she seemed rather lacking in star quality (she just was not luminous enough).
She also doesn't really perform well in the comedies that she has attempted - 'Laws Of Attraction', 'Evolution'. But I think thats a reflection of those movies being dismal rather than her - she was, for example, the pick of the cast and deliciously wicked and sexy in 'An Ideal Husband'
But in everthing else that I have seen, and I mean EVERYTHING, she has been no less than terrific, lighting up the screen with her style and warmth.

Anonymous said...

I thought Juli was soooo underrated in Cookie's Fortune!

The scene near the end... "I did good, didn't I, Camille?" gives me chills every time.

And I'm in love with her icy turn in the End of the Affair. Wonderful stuff.

Sigh, I could talk about Juli all day. But i wont cuz this posts gotten long enough as it is. 34 replies !!!

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