POSTED February 18 2015

(Julianne) Moore set to receive the Academy Reward

49“I’m looking for the truth. The audience doesn’t come to see you, they come to see themselves.” — Julianne Moore

The Las Vegas line on the Best Actress Oscar has Julianne Moore, 0-for-4 before she received an Academy Award bid for her role in Still Alice, is that the odds — — are 1-20 that she will, at long last, take the prize.

Not so much for her role as the brilliant linguist dimmed by early-onset Alzheimer’s disease as for the general agreement that she is due, a sentiment I share.

Why wouldn’t the best performance win? Well, in this case the two strongest performances in this category, that of Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night and Reese Witherspoon in Wild, are by actresses who already have Oscars.  Sometimes an Oscar is an Academy Reward.

Outstanding talents — think Jessica Lange, (who won for Blue Sky), Al Pacino (Scent of a Woman), and Denzel Washington (Training Day) each received the statuette because of the quality of their previous work.

During her 25 years on the big screen, Moore has played almost every kind of woman, from the best friend in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and the actress working on performance as Yelena in Vanya on 42nd Street to the the adulterous wife sanctified by faith and death in The End of the Affair and the porn star in Boogie Nights. 

While she’s appeared in studio movies such as The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Hannibal and Crazy. Stupid. Love., I have the impression that she really didn’t much care for these paycheck performances and would rather have the challenges of indie films like SafeShort Cuts,  The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio, and The Kids Are All Right. She recedes from the screen in studio films on the order of Nine Months and emerges in three dimensions in films like What Maisie Knew and Don Jon. My favorite among her performances are her swaggering lesbian mom in The Kids Are All Right and her quiet sincerity as Sarah Palin in Game Change on television. Though she doesn’t always fully connect with her Hollywood roles, she unfailingly finds the humanity in her indie characters.

Thoughts? Favorite among her roles?

one comment

  1. Connie O'Kane says:

    I fell in love with Julianne with “Vanya on 42nd Street” and haven’t looked back. (Something about staging Chekhov in a broken-down theater was like holding a service in a burned-out church — of course now it’s been renovated into a Disney Broadway theater.)
    I’m a big Graham Greene fan so I like “The End of the Affair.” She’s welcome in otherwise unremarkable films like “Non-Stop.” I even liked her in “Magnolia,” which I consider the most disappointing movie of all time.

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