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Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Beauty of Aging

Its really unfair to use an actress to share the beauty of aging and the diversity of the perfect body. Yet, its also one of the best ways to show that women are wonderful at any time of life, in any physical composition and with a variety of style. These few actresses are past what is considered typically in their prime and they carry it so well. Remember to never underestimate the grace and quality of knowledge and experience. 

Helen Mirren has a varied and amazing career. From "Caligula" to "White Knights" to "Prime Suspect" with several Shakespearean performances mixed in, she brings a calm yet severe element to the production. 
"Gosford Park" (2001) - One of the fabulous Robert Altman's last films, the cast is unbelievable. Helen Mirren again gives her self away to an intense performance. So much goes on, so many good people it should be watched twice in order to follow the dialogue and performances clearly. Altman lets his films move forward with so many elements and long camera shots its like watching real life. 

Judi Dench, who is so adorable in the British sitcom "As Time Goes By", leaves none of herself in her roles. She moves so effortlessly inside various characters its difficult to name a favorite performance. 
"Mrs. Brown" (1997) - First, there is no getting past that costuming enhanced and clarified this film. Secondly, the choice of Billy Connolly was brilliant for the role of John Brown- that glint in his eye and level of humor bubbling at the surface gave a needed relieve to the severity of Queen Victoria. It must be noted that the love affair between Her Majesty and her husband Prince Albert appears to have been a grand relationship. The couple had nine children and her mourning was acute. As for Ms. Dench, her quiet, deeply felt portrayal of the Queen isn't hampered by the reserved nature of the Victorian sensibilities due to her ability to disappear within the character. 

The very American classic, Joan Allen, can become completely any role she takes on. Unlike Judi Dench who absorbs the roles, but still looks of Judie Dench - Ms. Allen has looks that makes her unrecognizable in many roles. 

Top: Joan Allen in "Pleasantville" 
Bottom: Joan Allen in "Death Race" 
"The Upside of Anger" (2005) - Nothing like the romance between 2 bitter alcoholics in a Detroit suburb.  Michigan native Mike Binder gleans interesting insights and improves upon the reality of a local scandal. Ms. Allen embraces this role, surpassing the other actors with a clean, sharp performance. 
Iconic American actress Diane Keaton started sophisticated cross-gendered clothing trends with Woody Allen's "Annie Hall"  that still carries through today. She appears to bring so much of her own quirky characterization to each role. 
 "Marvin's Room" (1996) - The sad dysfunctional family unit comes across too vividly in this Scott McPherson play turned film. Emotionally frantic, as is Leo DiCaprio's early acting style bounced nicely against the flighty Meryl Streep and the stalwart itchiness of Diane Keaton. As the calm family anchor, Keaton brings everything together as she falls apart. 

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