Tag Archives: Jeff Bridges

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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Karen Allen: Feisty Freckle-Faced Love

28 May

Karen Allen is adorable. She’s been adorable for as long as I can remember. She’s also the feisty, freckle-faced love interest to some of my biggest matinee heroes growing up. Principally, Indiana Jones and Starman. In both seminal films she glows from within, whether it be giving Indy the business for abandoning her, or falling for Starman’s alien innocence. But wherein RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) was assuredly Harrison Ford’s star vehicle through and through, the camera’s focus in STARMAN (1984) is unequivocally on the stunningly-beautiful and amazing performance of the luminous Karen Allen as grief-stricken Jenny Hayden.

The one thing that stands out about Karen portraying a woman who has lost the love of her life is her humanity. The ability to be vulnerable and yet still open to helping those around you (even, in this case, an alien being) is an amazing and conscious choice on the part of the actress. Karen is a naturally vivacious personality, yet in this role she is understated, trying to contend with loss while comprehending the fantastic events in the film. I love every inch of Karen in this film: she never disappoints and delivers an Oscar-worthy performance opposite her leading man, Jeff Bridges. Both Karen and Jeff, both accomplished singers, performed a duet in the movie. The movie was Karen’s cinematic high-point after RAIDERS and she had the world on a string. Ironic how she chose to concentrate on smaller, more personal projects thereafter. Or, maybe the choice to be her own person and only do what she feels passionate about is what makes Karen Allen so beautiful and attractive in the first place.

Karen has acted since becoming famous in the early 80’s (yes, that’s her in the 1978 smash ANIMAL HOUSE). She’s immediately recognizable for her freckle-faced natural beauty and spunky, fun-loving nature. And to those who grew up watching in awe her glowing presence on screen, we know how lucky we are to have been born at the right time to gaze upon her rising star. She’ll forever be remember for Marion Ravenwood from Indiana Jones. But to me, she’ll always be Jenny Hayden – the real star from Starman (no offense intended, Mr. Bridges).