Wednesday, April 29, 2009

To Michelle on Her 51st Birthday

Happy birthday to the one and only Michelle Pfeiffer, keeper of my fool fan heart.

<-- This photo of La Pfeiff was taken just four months ago. I have lately become convinced that we have a problem with accepting aging in our society because we are always staring at celebrities.Think on this: they start out with an advantage. If you're so beautiful that people want to stare at your face blown up dozens of feet tall when you're in your 20s and 30s... chances are you're going to be an outstandingly beautiful 50something, too. The rest are mere mortals.

You know those cards that tell you who you share a birthday with?
Do you suppose celebrities ever get them and geek out on which other celebrities they share birthdays with? It's an oroborus.

If you must know, Pfeiffer shares her exact birthday with Jan Brady herself, Eve Plumb. But she shares the general April 29th date with a number of other famous types including: tennis giant Andre Agassi, fellow celluloid goddess Uma Thurman, Jerry Seinfeld, actress Kate Mulgrew, former SNL regular Nora Dunn and Pfeiffer's former co-star Daniel Day-Lewis who is one year her elder -- too bad Hollywood doesn't notice how well similarly aged co-stars go together.

A joint birthday celebration on the set of Age of Innocence (1993)?

There's also conductor Zubin Mehta, director Phillipe Noyce (Rabbit Proof Fence), acclaimed French actor Jean Rochefort, Oscar winner Celeste Holm (Gentleman's Agreement), two time Best Director Oscar winner Fred Zinneman (From Here to Eternity), the legendary Duke Ellington and newspaper giant William Randolph Hearst (real life counterpart to fictional Citizen Kane).

And no... I didn't know any of this before typing up this post. I'm not that crazy.


Benji said...

Great, IMDb front page tells me it is the birthday of one Paul Adelstein, but fails to mention Celeste Holm. They did the same earlier this year with Luise Rainer and Jennifer Jones.
More respect please for actresses of Classical Hollywood that are still alive!

Anonymous said...

thought you'd appreciate this nathaniel.

- Sean C.

Anonymous said...

No leading lady should be too reliant on mainstream Hollywood for roles, if the want to have a strong movie career past the age of 45. That's just practical reality. The only actress who gets her bread and butter roles from Hollywood to have still found consistent major film sucess in her older years (and in leading parts) is Meryl Streep. And Streep's success comes at the expense of her peers of a similar generation. The likes of Glenn Close (doing good work on TV in Damages), Sigourney Weaver, Jessica Lange, Kathleen Turner, Susan Sarandon would love Streep to take a vacation, so they could bag some of those movie roles. Other than Streep, Hollywood is more likely to "import" foreign (usually British) actreses who were never major movie stars in their youth, but accquired Grande Dame of cinema status at a more advanced age (Judi Dench, Helen Mirren ect).

Michelle was too reliant on the Hollywood system (Streep could get away with making middling Hollywood weepies like WHITE OLEANDER in her 40's, but the likes of Pfieffer, Glenn Close, nor Jessica Lange couln't), and Streep aside, almost any actress who was a young star, eventually gets abandoned as they age.

I'll be very interested to see how the current crop of over 40 female movie stars will cope. Julianne Moore is already suffering. I think Julia Roberts and Jodie Foster are trying to stave off the inevitable by not working all that much, but I think Pfieffer tried the same thing, and it didn't really work. Halle Berry already had enough problems being a black actress in Hollywood. Being black and over 40 is a catastrophe. I predict she'll be working regularly on TV before she's 50.

Of the over 40 brigade, Nicole Kidman seems to best postioned for survival. She's a huge talent, but more than that. She's cultivated her status as an "international" actress, as opposed to just a Hollywood actor. She's got an enviable appeal to international auteurs that almost no American actress could claim. I think she'll still be getting major parts in her fifties. For all the crap she gets about some of her poorer film choices, those overall choices suggest a real skill in career management designed to promote longevity.

Cate Blanchett is not yet 40 (she'll get there in 2 weeks time), but she seems to want to pattern her career on Streep's. Work non-stop, always do a different voice (so casting agents think you are suitable for every single role, which isn't really true, in either Streep's case or Blanchett's). If the Streep formula works for Blanchett, she'll probably be hogging roles from other older actreses years from now.


Fernando Moss said...

Love her... Happy Birtdhay to the goddess!

It's weird, but somehow, I feel that with the years she gets more and more beautiful as well as she gets more and more underrated (I'm concious she retired for a few years, but still I don't think people think of her as a great actress nowadays... or almost ever).

Andrew David said...

Happy birthday DDL <3

Anonymous said...

Bryan said...

I missed being born on the right day by a few hours!!!!


well happy future or belated birthday to you too bryan

Unknown said...

I was waiting for this post :P

And if you were trying to say that Michelle looks fabulous for her age, I completely agree! And you can tell she hasn't been hacked apart like other stars her age.

Christine said...

I always find extreme age differences between actors in movies distracting in the same way I find it distracting when a movie has a recent college graduate living in a giant loft in Manhattan. Unless there's a reason for the anomaly, it takes me out of the film.

Also, I would pay any amount of money for a Pfeiffer/Day-Lewis re-teaming. They worked amazingly well off each other in The Age of Innocence.

One actress who seems to have escaped the over-40 curse is Catherine Keener. She's frequently paired in films with an actor of about the same age. The two examples that immediately come to mind are her work with Steve Carell in the "40 Year Old Virgin" and DDL in "The Ballad of Jack and Rose."

Walter L. Hollmann said...

She's 51? Really? But...but that can't be. She's so...and I want...'cuz she's...HOW long until Cheri?

adelutza said...

Born April 29

Romantic and creative intensity are big themes in the year ahead. Exploring your feelings, and a spirited approach to relating, figure strongly. You may be dealing with games of control and power, which go nowhere and only serve to frustrate. Some rebellious and gutsy behavior is likely, as you make changes and explore new avenues of self-expression.


Rodrigo the Hated One said...

Happy Bday to Pfeiffer and Day-Lewis.

Fernando: I just read the Top 20 you did for Pfeiffer and I don't think you got that right. The Fabulous Baker Boys a better performance than The Age of Innocence? No way. I would certainly change all of your order.


Hmmm. i don't recall a top 20
but yeah. Fabulous Baker Boys (for which she shoulda easily won the Oscar) is the best or second best (give or take BATMAN RETURNS)

Unknown said...

Future. Now all I've got to celebrate with are Jane Campion and Lars von Trier. Well, okay, it could be worse. That'll be one party.

Rodrigo the Hated One said...

Well Nathaniel, I was actually talking about the list Fernando did here

I don't really like his order. I think he got it all wrong.

Sorry Fernando.

Wayne B. said...

Chris - Interesting thoughts.

I think hopefully production companies will begin to realize that older people are the ones who actually BUY cinema tickets or DVDs instead of just downloading/ripping. So if your target market is older than you're going to have to change the product to be more accessible for them. So hopefully the movies will utilize older actors and actresses' talent to make the product more attractive to that market. I'm probably wrong but it would be cool.


Christine said...

@Wayne B. I AM NOT "OLDER"!

Except, I just realized "Age of Innocence" was 16 years ago. Okay, maybe I am older, if older=mid 30s.

Still, I think my point about age appropriate romantic pairings is valid.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Michelle! Hope you have a wonderful time with Cheri!!!

Wayne B. said...

Christine - I was actually waxing about the thoughts the Anonymous poster "Chris" @ 2:24 PM was talking about. Never meant to imply that ANYONE was older. Sorry for the confusion. :)

Glenn said...

pfft, all I get is Kelly bloody Preston!

Jesper.L said...

She's one of the greatest actress living today.