Lady Loves

Below I have listed some of my ultimate lady loves in film. Do bear in mind, these are not all of them. Those that are on the list are there because I like them as actresses, but primarily I have put my favourite characters they portray on here.

In no particular order…

  1. Anna Karina as Nana Kleinfrankenheim in Vivre Sa Vie

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Anna Karina brings a certain sincerity and affection to this film. As a character she is simply mesmerising and depicts the struggle of women in this era beautifully. Karina creates depth to Nana, giving herself flexibility to be playful as well as display her inner turmoils.

2. Kate Winslet as Nancy Cowan in Carnage

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Realistically I could have picked any of the cast, but Kate Winslet in particular provides her character with effortless sophistication, even when their situation descends into utter chaos. She also graciously navigates this descent which aids the story’s sense of humour perfectly – starting poised and rational, she’s still as likeable when outraged.

3. Faye Dunaway as Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde

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I think there’s a runaway in every girl, and I also think many girls can identify with Bonnie. As for Faye Dunaway, she gives Bonnie a coolness that makes this murderess thief enviable and liberating. Maybe there’s something wrong with that, but ultimately she’s a rule breaker and feisty as hell.

4. Angelina Jolie as Lisa in Girl, Interrupted 

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In my eyes, it’s fair to say that this role was Oscar worthy. Angelina Jolie presents no limits or boundaries to Lisa’s sociopathic personality – her presence is always as exciting as it is intense. Lisa is very much the leader of the pack, she’s fearless and authoritative, but Jolie equally depicts her weaknesses and fears.

5. Ziyi Zhang as Xiao Mei in House of Flying Daggers

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I cannot lie, there’s is a whole lot of envy towards Ziyi Zhang. In this instance she is essentially one of the most dangerous women in film – Xiao Mei is as kick-ass as she is heartbreaking, while also having the ability to be ferocious, she is also poised. Why wouldn’t she be on this list?

6. Julianne Moore as Charley in A Single Man

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Charley is complex, and although she is beautiful and charmingly fun, she carries much sorrow. I admire the way Moore is able to give Charley some illusivity in the way that she is never quite understood. Classy, yet lonely, Moore is able to draw empathy from the spectator despite her seemingly care-free lifestyle.

7. Anne Parillaud as Nikita in Nikita

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Erratic, untameable and can give any male agent a run for their money – Parillaud could not have been better cast. She combines rebellion and naivety so smoothly, as well as adaptability and resourcefulness. Parillaud, in my eyes, is the mortal Wonder Woman.

8. Tilda Swinton as Eva Khatchadourian in We Need to Talk About Kevin

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Eva defies all the conventional norms of parenting and womanhood – her ‘unnatural’ desire to not want children for a start. Furthermore, Swinton’s ability to provide such a range of emotional variety from start to beginning is enigmatic. She is daring and brave, and elegantly portrays every parents’ nightmare.

9. Eva Green as Isabelle in The Dreamers

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One of her more notorious performances, Green presents the most fanciable woman! Isabelle is young, creative and part of the French revolution. Green embodies everything Parisian, film and youthful through Isabelle, and it’s hard not to identify.

10. Kristen Stewart as Valentine in Clouds of Sils Maria

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Stewart as Valentine really ignited my love for her. In this particular role she addresses the transition from traditional to contemporary within acting as well as social media. She has a cool chicness about her, as well as an empowering wisdom despite her age. Stewart also engages with our current generation in a sophisticated and philosophical approach.

 

Sunday [Film] Sessions

Sunday Funday. There’s a few things that make my Sundays perfect; Sunday Wine Club (an old after-work tradition); Sunday lunch (when I’m in the mood for a cliché, I’m a big advocate of a walk in the park as well); and a film night.

I love easy-watching on Sundays – allow my brain to rest before the week coming inevitably begins. While there’s still time, honestly, all I want to do is chill on the sofa (before the point of no return occurs at the pub). So, below I have listed (in no particular order) some of my classic, and essential, Sunday-watching materials.

 

The First Wives Club (1996)

Directed by: Hugh Wilson

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This film springs to mind, because I actually did watch this last Sunday – I  prematurely apologise to the male viewer as you may feel a little disregarded. However, as a source of empowerment, it is a wonderfully balanced combination of humor and easy-watching. Plus, it’s Hawn, Milder and Keaton absolutely smashing it as a empowering and comical  female trio.

There’s something about a Sunday that needs some 90’s indulgence, but also something lighthearted. It’s a typical equilibrium-driven narrative that provides that ultimate feel-good ending. I also love the hilarious over-dramatised hysteria; the jealously of the younger women; insecurity, quick-wit repartee; and that window scene. I don’t think it matters how old you are, I think there is something to relate to in each of these women, particularly for the female spectator, but I’m not that narrow minded (men need their wins too). And lets not forget, no rom-coms can compare to that of the 90’s!

Watch: The First Wives Club Trailer

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Directed by: Wes Anderson

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 I know I am not alone when I say that: one of the things I love about watching any Anderson film is that it feels as though someone is reading me a bed time story. With regards to The Royal Tenenbaums, and it’s seemingly depressive and sombre swagger, is that there’s something ultimately soothing about the execution – a kind of “Once upon a time, in New York, there lived a family…”.

The film kindly adheres to my Sunday night vibes, what with Anderson’s unique portrayal of a whimsical family tale, along with his notorious set and camera composition that makes me feel like I’ve attended the theater without leaving my lounge.

Secrets; drama; achievements; failure; depression; estranged relatives – it has to be one of my favourite family films!

Watch: The Royal Tenenbaums Trailer

Love Me If You Dare / Jeux d’enfants (2003)

Directed by: Yann Samuell

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I think even the most uneducated person could denote that this film is of the romantic-variety, but I would hate for you to assume too much. Personally I am not the biggest fan of chick-flicks – at least try to make loneliness look moderately interesting! This film however, really packs a punch to make you feel something at the end of the week.

Love Me If You Dare completely won me over, and I guess the fact still remains: no one does romance like the French. More so, the promise of thrill is in the title. The film explores the game of love, escalating from harmless childish dares into life-altering adolescent consequences.

The spectator is very much along for the ride, knowing as little as the leading roles what will happen next. It’s unpredictable; dangerous; brutal; and sexy – the perfect combination for disaster. It’s also honest; heart-wrenching; and wildly entertaining! I like to think of it as a surrealist fairy tale for adults. Oh, I love it when Hollywood gets it’s ass kicked!

Watch: Love Me If You Dare (English) Trailer

Down By Law (1986)

Directed by: Jim Jarmusch

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As if a fly-on-the-wall, Down By Law could be the the closest contender to an aesthetically indulgent pseudo-documentary where life by circumstance simply unfolds.

Essentially three men, by different means, wind up in a Louisiana jail cell together. We contemplate the American dream, the men’s patience (as well as indifference), and wonder where the film is actually going (if going anywhere at all). I personally love the fixation on character as opposed to an obviously narrative-driven blockbuster.

This film is perfect for those who crave a realness from fiction. Jarmusch depicts an effortlessly cool, yet seemingly, mundane existence of life in the back end of New Orleans, and then takes it to the swamps. But there’s also a surrealness that is equally consistent – you begin to feel as lost and confused as our unlikely trio.

As well as reminding us how much we miss a good film noir, the gloriously relaxed “acting” accompanied by Robby Müller’s (just beautiful) cinematography, makes Down By Law one of the sharpest and more casual must-sees. What more do you want from a Sunday session?

Watch: Down By Law Trailer

Clouds Of Sils Maria (2014)

Directed by: Olivier Assayas

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Despite the “rest” aspect of a Sunday, I profoundly enjoy a film that encourages me to think. As an ex-film student I have now gone past the point of no return – I am either switched on, or I do not watch a film.

Now, with regards to the latter, you can humor me by understanding my intrigue into this film’s particular look into an actress’ career. Clouds Of Sils Maria, at least to me, explores the film industry in terms of career, celebrity culture and shifts in modernism.

If you want drama, this film has plenty, but it is primarily depicted through subtly and intellect. It goes beyond characterisation, and I personally believe it is strategically casted to allegorically examine the motifs embodied through the narrative. Clouds Of Sils Maria explores film; theater; the working environment; and personal relationships. It’s a film about age, and carefully invites the spectator to philosophically examine the position of film as an industry, as well as an inherently meta discourse.

Watch: Clouds Of Sils Maria Trailer