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Nicole Kidman: The Others

Selections from Nicole Kidman's  filmography that demonstrate her extraordinary talent and risk-taking commitment.

Alejandro Amenábar's Gothic ghost tale The Others (2001) allows Nicole Kidman plenty of room to show off her expansive range as an actor, with each new choice she makes building ever so delicately, layer upon layer, into a performance that's truly transcendent.
As Grace Stewart, a mother of two children with a rare and dangerous sensitivity to light, Kidman positively crackles with anxious energy, even while maintaining a proper mid-century stoicism. The constant fear for her children's safety is expressed masterfully, whether it's through her eyes popping wide open with sudden concern or a quick spike in her voice to denote intense anxiety bursting forth.
The film's twist ending—which I will not spoil here, even though we're talking about a nearly two-decade old film—still packs a wallop today, thanks in no small part to Grace's devastation a…
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More Baby Pfeiffer

Let's face facts: I've fallen behind on my Michelle Pfeiffer performance reviews. Life stuff has gotten in the way, plus I've been spending much of time writing four different chapters for inclusion in three forthcoming books (fingers crossed!), and on various other writing commitments.

Excuses, excuses, man! I know, just shut up and get back to La Pfeiffer, right? I hear you, I really do. So, while I'm working on some future reviews (Stardust and Tequila Sunrise are tops on my list of films left to get to), here's an easy breezy Pfeiffer puff piece to hold us all over for a bit.

And what's easier or breezier than Baby Pfeiffer, amirite? Everyone knows I have a serious weakness for that very early career sun-kissed California goddess, during the late 1970s through about 1982 or 1983, right before she went nuclear with Scarface. I've posted about Baby Pfeiffer before, in fact, but why not do it again? What's stopping me?? Nothing! Because there's al…

8 Times Adam Driver Was Scarily Relatable in Marriage Story

Noah Baumbach's tearjerker and Best Picture Academy Award nominated Marriage Story tells the painful story of the dissolution of a marriage. Baumbach cleverly reveals Nicole's (Scarlet Johansson) and Charlie's (Adam Driver) marriage story by depicting their divorce story. We join them as things are falling apart, and as it crumbles further, we gain a greater understanding of how these two people have always loved each other, and always will, but how sometimes that's just not enough.

The film has stuck with me because it has so much empathy for Charlie and Nicole. Neither is painted as a villain, because Baumbach seems to understand that love is too complicated for trite designations like that. Instead, we're given two flawed people whose wounds and heartache and selfishness and everything else that weakens their marriage will prevent them from going the distance. There is no winner or loser. It's just crushingly sad, and our hearts ache for both Charlie and Ni…

It Came From the '90s: Showgirls—The Miseducation of Penny

Exploring why the 1995 film Showgirls is an enduring cult classic.
(Due to the film's copious amount of salty language and nudity, these posts are probably NSFW)

If there's one character in Paul Verhoeven's deliciously trashy and impressively thongtastic 1995 classic Showgirls who epitomizes how the Vegas entertainment industry chews up and spits out innocent blood, it's Penny, AKA Hope (Rena Riffel). Poor, poor Penny.

After arriving at Al Torres's (Robert Davi) Cheetah's Topless Club, fresh and new and full of excitement for a career in dance, Penny is immediately and consistently degraded by one character after another, often through the use of very imaginative and colorful language. Her initial naivety is at turns hilarious and depressing. Here's a sampling, from the film's IMDb page, of the way other characters (mostly men) talk to her:

Al Torres : If you want to last longer than a week, you give me a blow-job. First I get you used to the money, then …

Guest Post: Andrew McCarthy's Against the Odds Romances

I'm excited to share a guest post from fellow blogger and film fanatic Gill Jacob, at Realweegiemidget Reviews. As an added bonus, it's about one of my favorite topics: Andrew McCarthy movies! I've been working on a long-gestating post about McCarthy that, fingers crossed, will see the light of the day this year. In the meantime, here are some of Gill's thoughts on Andrew's "against the odds romance" films. If you grew up on his films, you'll find a lot to love about Gill's post. Enjoy!

FILMS… Andrew McCarthy Against The Odds Romances

Heaven help me, 5 Times that Andrew McCarthy won my heart…
As a teen – and for a wee while after that – I confess to having a bit of a crush on Andrew McCarthy, famed for his sensitive roles… and usually falling for a girl but she usually came with some catch!

Frankie Forever

Everybody knows I love Frankie and Johnny. Everybody knows that, hard as it is to choose a favorite, Frankie will always have my heart when it comes to Michelle Pfeiffer characters. So, pardon me if you've heard or read all of this from me before, but here are just a few reasons why I love everything about this beautiful film.

Sometimes you form such a personal connection with a film that you can't even imagine who you would be without it in your life. Frankie and Johnny (1991) is that film for me. It hooked me first time I saw it, thanks to extraordinary performances from the two leads, Michelle Pfeiffer as Frankie and Al Pacino as Johnny; a sensational supporting cast, including Nathan Lane, Kate Nelligan, and Hector Elizondo; that sublime Marvin Hamlisch score; and Terrence McNally's exquisite adaptation of his own off-Broadway play, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. Together, these elements combine to create something truly magical. I've been living under thi…