Tag Archives: Anthony Hopkins

Julianne Moore: Lady in Red

27 Aug

Redheads share a special place in my heart as well as the movies. They’re rare beauties who photograph well and burn hot in either color or black & white. Fiery is a word that comes to mind. Passionate and brilliant are a few others. And as much of an anglophile, I never understood the British attitude toward gingers. As a certified cinemaniac – I can say without a doubt that the world would not nearly be the beautiful place it is without the beautiful actress known as Julianne Moore.

Red, Blonde, Brown or Raven-haired, Julianne is one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the silver screen. She is sexy, smart and magnetic. Her reputation is secure as one of the most amazing actors working in the medium today and her confident, self-assured nature has brought this beauty to prominence in a fashion few others can touch. Julianne is gutsy and belies her easy-going nature, emblematic of many of her more famous roles. She can play comedy, drama, surrealism and horror with aplomb.

I wasn’t always such a big fan. I didn’t know the talented-actress had such chops when she won the role of Clarice Starling (so massively personified by Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster) in Hannibal, the sequel to the astonishingly-successful Silence of the Lambs. And while that movie as a whole was a hot, gut-wrenching celluloid mess, Julianne was pure-perfection. She equitted herself so well that I became a life long fan of her extremely sexy-brainy Clarice holding her own against the scenery-eating and somewhat tongue-in-cheek mugging of Sir Anthony Hopkins’s Dr. Lecter. She had taken a potentially career-suicide of a role and turned it to her star-turning advantage. That not only takes guts and talent, it takes a belief in yourself that you can bring something to any role and make it credible. And she did.

But let’s be honest. I fell in love with Julianne in The Big Lebowski. Her role in this seminal Coen Brother’s masterpiece is something to marvel at. Again, she holds her own against the insanely-perfect Jeff Bridges’s The Dude – and she abides right along with him. In a pitch-perfect role, Julianne plays an eccentric artist with a sexual twist to the hilt and the dream sequence with her dressed as a Norse Goddess complete with horn helmet and bowling-ball motif bra is the stuff comedic dreams are really made of. It doesn’t get any better than this – especially Julianne naked in a harness flying through the air painting a la Jackson Pollack. If you haven’t seen this movie, I’d stop reading this stupid blog and Netflix it immediately!

Julianne’s body of work is much broader and much more influential than the two films I’ve mentioned above. From Roger Altman’s Short Cuts to last year’s The Kids Are Alright (not to mention Crazy, Stupid, Love) Julianne delivers no matter what the subject matter or Hollywood budget. This screen-goddess is sexy as all get out and funny to boot. And for that, Ms. Moore gets my vote as one of the greatest Leading Ladies of all time – in black, white or red.

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Debra Winger: The Original Girl Next Door

2 Jul

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I always loved how sassy, sexy and smart Debra Winger was in all her roles. From Officer and a Gentleman to Urban Cowboy, from Mike’s Murder to a Dangerous Woman and Shadowlands – Debra has always brought her unique brand of sensual vulnerability to each character she’s portrayed. She’s also drop dead gorgeous. The kind of girl next door quality mixed with a promiscuity that has all the boys in the neighborhood chasing after her. My neighborhood should be so lucky.

Debra’s acting style has always amazed me. If I had to define it in one word I would have to call it “openness.” That ability to come off fresh and spontaneous as if what was happening was really happening for the first time to her. That takes incredibly energy and talent to do over and over again and come off not only convincing, but thoroughly engaging and ultimately undeniable. In her best and biggest roles, Debra illicits a sense of wide-eyed innocence – wanting to believe in her man even when her man is, well, a jerk. Richard Gere was her first jerk. John Travolta was her second. But she stuck to them like glue (at least her characters did) and proved that love could win out in the end.

That’s not to say in either Officer/Gentleman or Urban Cowboy she came across as a push-over. Debra was what I’d like to call the proto-independent woman in her 80’s and early 90’s roles. Again, it’s her onscreen vulnerability that belied her sense of self – one that she grew into on screen over the course of the storyline like watching a woman learn that she can be independent and hold her man. And all the while, Debra’s soulful eyes conveys the heartbreak her character is experiencing that comes with such knowledge.

It’s a shame we haven’t seen too much of Debra, lately. The few times she’s stepped into the public spotlight lately it’s to defend the likes of Roman Polanski. I’d rather a Director hire Debra and bring her back to the big screen so we can once again revel in her beauty and talent. I know that she’s got a lot of life left in her career. And it would be like coming home after being gone a long time – and having the girl next door that you had a huge crush on as a kid – waiting for you at the door with a warm smile and a cold beer.