Five Best Julianne Moore Films
In case you’ve been living under a rock: Julianne Moore is definitely having a moment. Riding high off her critically praised performance in Still Alice and her role in the blockbusting The Hunger Games franchise she’s been everywhere lately. As she’s gracefully swept down the red carpet and picked up multiple awards this season from a Golden Globe to an Oscar (finally!) many have only fallen more in love with the elegant red head. So, to celebrate one of the greatest actresses of our generation and her fully deserved Oscar win let’s take a look at her five best films.
Moore’s most recent film (which is still in some theaters) that allowed her to finally get that Oscar and dozens of other awards is a powerful and timely piece. Moore plays Dr. Alice Howland, a mother of three and professor of linguistics who has fallen victim to early onset Alzheimers. The film chronicles the incredible challenges that faces those who are suffering from the disease as well as its impact on their loved ones. We watch as Alice fights tooth and nail against the disease that is slowly but surely taking over her mind in a gripping, emotional performance from Moore in her finest form.
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
A much lighter film offering from Moore is this quirky comedy about a middle aged lesbian couple Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Moore). They’ve got two teenage children which each woman gave birth to via the same sperm donor. Their son, Laser (Josh Hutcherson) is incredibly curious about their sperm donor but he’s unable to find him due to being a minor so he asks his sister Joni (Mia Wasikowska) to help him find him. They two eventually find their sperm donor; a free spirit type named Paul. As Paul becomes acquainted with the whole family jealousy and suspicion begins to creep in as Nic and Jules wonder what role Paul should play in the lives of them and their children.
This riveting and emotional film features a standout performance not only from Moore but also from her co-stars Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman. For her role as Virginia Woolf in the film Kidman even took home an Oscar and Moore was also nominated that year for her role. The film is so brilliantly acted by all three women and the script is so nuanced it’s widely considered a modern classic and is frequently aired on movie channels (check here for listings). The story features the three women through a single day in different times all connected by Woolf’s book Mrs. Dalloway. Kidman plays Woolf in 1923 while she’s writing the book, Moore plays Laura Brown a quietly suffering housewife in 1951 Los Angeles who uses the book to escape her life and Streep plays Clarissa Vaughn, a woman who spends all day planning a party for her ex-boyfriend who is severely ill with AIDS in 2001. The day takes all women on a wild, highly emotional ride from which none of them will recover.
FAR FROM HEAVEN
In another Oscar nominated role Moore plays Cathy Whitaker, the quintessentially perfect 1950’s housewife. However the perfect facade isn’t all it seems to be as Cathy’s successful husband Frank (Dennis Quaid) is soon arrested for venturing into local gay bars. After Cathy walks in on him kissing another man at work he decides to undergo conversion therapy. It doesn’t work (obviously) and instead he turns to alcohol. Around the same time Cathy runs into Raymond Deagan (Dennis Haysbert), the son of her former gardener who is African-American. The two of them bump into each other again later and raise eyebrows for daring to have a conversation in public. From there the two begin an affair which causes an enormous amount of gossip and scorn for her and her family in the community. As the couple struggles with their own taboo affairs they attempt to repair their relationship and maintain appearances in the wickedly judgemental suburbs. The film is also notable as a contemporary nod to Douglas Sirk’s classic melodrama All That Heaven Allows.
In a stark departure of character, this film sees Moore playing Amber Waves, a cocaine addicted porn star in the decadent and often seedy 1970’s porn industry. Fans of Moore’s can be easily shocked by her Oscar nominated portrayal of such a seedy, yet ultimately likeable, character. While she isn’t the star of the film, Moore’s supporting role to Mark Wahlberg’s Dirk Diggler is vital to the storyline and plot of the film as all the “actors” in the film find themselves floundering in a world of sex, drugs, money and excess that leaves a stream of hopes and dreams in it’s wake. The film definitely isn’t for the prudish among you, but it’s ultimately a compelling story of a high octane period of one of America’s most notorious industries.This was also the film that helped to establish director P.T. Anderson’s career.
About the Author: Spencer Blohm is a freelance entertainment and pop culture blogger for http://www.directstartv.com/localchannels/.