Very wrongly, in my adolescent brain, I had written off Julianne Moore. Manly because she portrayed Clarice Starling, a role immortalized by Jodie Foster. It wasn’t that Moore was bad either, it was merely that the portrayal beforehand and the story lacked for her presence. And I had written her off. Undeniably, I will bite my tongue and hold my hands up and say I was utterly stupid because Julianne Moore conquers everything that she is given, even in lesser films such as the recent outing for Carrie. Looking at her pure breadth of work, it is astonishing that she is standing without an Oscar but merely a collection of nominations. She is yet again poised on awards after winning Best Actress in Cannes thanks to David Cronenberg’s fantastic work in Maps to the Stars.
But what else has Julianne Moore excelled in? The answer is everything, but here are just a few.
Honorable Mention: Boogie Nights purely for not wanting too much PTA. And melodramas The End of the Affair and Far From Heaven. But honestly, Moore could illicit a second list, these are just my favourites.
Scoring Nicole Kidman’s first Oscar Win, The Hours by Stephen Daldry is an evocative look at three women wrapped around Virigina Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway. There is Kidman’s portrayal of the famous author herself, plagued by depression. Meryl Streep gives an evocative performance as Clarissa Vaughn, the embodiment of Dalloway in modern New York. And then there is Moore as Laura Brown, a stay at home mum overcome by the staleness of her life and dark sorrow. Moore astutely conveys the loneliness and abandonment of joy from her life that leaves her to make a dramatic decision. It’s a stunning performance.
Yesterday we spoke about Jeff Bridges and this was one of the essential films in his portfolio but darn it, we’re going to talk about it again. Whilst Bridges is amazing as The Dude, John Goodman shines as Walter and a host of actors and characters fill this Coen cult classic, Moore plays the defiant love interest of The Dude who crops up in his sexual bowling dream sequence adorned in Viking gear. Moore plays the frank and artistic (slightly pretentious) Maude Lewboski who wants to conceive with The Dude. It’s one of those cases where she is a beacon in a sea of brilliance. Just get the film watched.
Following on from that, it’s a similar vein for Moore in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia. The sheer collection of cast makes it impossible to select one person as stand-out. Instead, Moore is another perfect addition to a stellar film. Set in vignettes across San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, the interweaving relationships of people on the crux of life altering events is an excavation of humanity stretched in mosaic form. Julianne Moore plays Linda, the young trophy wife of dying Frank whose son has abandoned him. She is a self-medicator and that haziness of Linda’s personality is superbly exuded. It’s a beautiful tragic yet hopeful film.
This film is amazing, its charm and drama mixed into one. It’s charma. After all, it is an eclectic mix of Annette Benning, Mia Wasikowska, Moore and Mark Ruffalo, all coming together to tell this inviting tale that gave countless amount of nominations to its stirring cast. Benning and Moore play a lesbian couple who have raised their children with fair discipline and love. However, they are shocked when their children want to find out who their father is, having the same sperm donor but the pair having a child each. When he arrives, he disrupts the seemingly harmonious life and soon problems start to unravel. Moore is delightful here, earnest, witty and wonderful.
One of the best dramas of last year that was largely missed from the audience. This emotive piece that effectively argues that some parents simply should not have kids see the life of the titular girl bounces from place to place during her parent’s divorce. Julianne Moore plays Susanna, a rock singer who lives for the road and the fame as well as getting points against her ex-husband. This sorrow filled piece conveys a beautifully understated issue with children of divorce. But Moore’s irritating and selfish persona is strongly realised and astutely played. Never playing it with maliciousness just simply mindlessness, Moore is captivating in her misdeeds.
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Maps to the Stars is out now!