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19.11 23 Feb 2015


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From housewife to rebel soldier to porn star, few Hollywood actresses can boast the range of Julianne Moore, who picked up her first Oscar for Best Actress in a leading role in Still Alice.

After rising to prominence in the 1990s with roles in the likes of Short Cuts and Boogie Nights, Moore has become one of the most sought after and critically-acclaimed performers in Hollywood. Constantly balancing blockbusters with independent features, and equally compelling in lead and supporting roles, she has won particular plaudits for her roles in the likes of Magnolia, Far From Heaven, A Single Man, The Kids Are Alright and Maps to the Stars.

Having begun her career on TV soap opera As the World Turns, she has continued to make some noteworthy appearances on the small screen, such as a recurring role in 30 Rock and starring as Sarah Palin in HBO's Game Change. She even briefly reprised her role as Frannie Hughes when As the World Turns was cancelled in 2010.

As one might expect from an actress as prolific as Moore, who has 61 films under her belt, not all were critically acclaimed. Laws of Attraction, Chloe and Evolution (best known for one of the most egregious product-placement scenes in film), were rightly panned, but never held back her career.

Moore had been unlucky so far when it came to the Academy, being nominated four times without winning. However, last night that all changed after she picked up the Best Actress statuette following a Golden Globe win for her performance in Still Alice.

The Hollywood great spoke to The Picture Show about her performance in Still Alice, where she portrays a young woman with early-onset Alzheimer's:

Moore admits that before the role, she had no personal experience of the disease, and felt she needed to dedicate herself to understanding it:

“I [have had] no contact with anyone with Alzheimer's disease... I really knew nothing [and] I didn't think it was fair to not truly understand what I was doing.”

She watched as many documentaries as she could, spoke to people suffering from the disease, met one of America's leading clinicians, underwent the cognitve tests used to diagnose Alzheimer's and attended support groups.

Moore admits that this level reserach into a role is atypial, saying that extra dedication is required “when it's important; when it's a real person.”

Dealing with an issue which is not greatly understood, but affects more than five million people in America alone, is an amazing opportunity, Moore says:

“People feel so isolated with this disease that it was great to get an opportunity to talk about something where people don't get a lot of support.”

She initially doubted that Still Alice would appeal to studios and that it would be released and distributed, but since it premiered in January, the film has received brilliant praise from critics. The Hollywood Reporter called the film "warm, compassionate, but bitingly honest."

Moore hopes its success can shine some light on Alzheimer's disease and offer support to sufferers:

“It's been very rewarding to hear from people in the Alzheimer's community that they feel it's bringing awareness and that they feel represented.”

The Picture Show put together a list of Moore's best films. Do you agree with the choices? Anything missing? Let us know!

1. The Big Lebowski
Moore plays Maude Lebowski, a radical artist and feminist, whose art has been “commended as being strongly vaginal.” Maude is a bizarrely straightforward character: “The word itself makes some men uncomfortable. Vagina.”

2. Magnolia
In Magnolia Moore stars as a morphine-addicted wife of a former producer who is dying of cancer. She steals his narcotic prescriptions so she can get high.


3. Short Cuts
Moore was described as “arresting” in her role as spunky artist Marian Wymann in Short Cuts. In one of the most discussed scenes of the movie, Moore performs naked from the waist down.

4.Boogie Nights
“Everyone has one special thing”
Moore received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her performance as the porn star Amber Waves. In Boogie Nights Moore’s character teaches Mark Wahlberg’s character the know-how when he enters the porn industry and eventually becomes the famous Dirk Diggler.

5. The Hours
The Hours sees Moore in a dark role as pregnant housewife Laura Browne, living in California in the 1950s. Moore’s character changes her mind about committing suicide when she begins reading Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.

6. Children of Men
Moore plays Julian, the leader of a rebel group intent on protecting immigrants, in Alfonso Cuarón's film. Her character is a no-nonsense woman selflessly intent on saving the human race. The movie is a mix of sci-fi, drama, thriller and action.

7. A Single Man
Julianne Moore acts as an alcoholic divorcée in A Single Man, another role that sees her play a seductive, pill-popping character.

8. Far from Heaven
Moore takes on the role of happy housewife Cathy in Far from Heaven. However after discovering her closeted husband with another man, she tries to save their sexless marriage via counselling, but finds herself falling for Raymond (Dennis Haysbert), the son of her black former-gardener.

9. Safe
Moore acts as Carol White, an unexceptional homemaker in the suburbs who develops multiple chemical sensitivity. This medical thriller shows what can happen when our environment turns against us.

10. Maps to the Stars
A dark satire which sees Moore playing a pathetic aging actress who attempts to cope with her neurosis through vigorous psychotherapy and New Age healing.


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