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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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« Curio: Julie Alberti's Faces | Main | I Know That You Saw Ryan Phillipe Shower »
Tuesday
Apr232013

Happy Earth Day: Actressexual Edition

Happy Earth Day! (It's April 22 where some of you are, still.)

 Andrew here. Isn't it s a shame that even though the earth is made up of so many natural, renewable resources we tend to get so few films about characters who are particularly interested in it? Lawyers, doctors, nurses, writers - those jobs tend to roll of the tongue easily from movie scripts. Environmentalists? Umm, not so much. When you think of how to celebrate Earth Day through film there doesn’t seem to be a large pool of cinematic options to choose from. Every now and then an An Inconvenient Truth type film will appear tackling earth related issues, but it’s not just the films completely devoted solely to the earth that telegraph the message of caring for our environment best. Oftentimes, an incidental character trait revealing an appreciation for the earth can do wonders.

Here at The Film Experience we all worship the deity that is Actresses (we're not very picky, good actresses all are welcome) and what better way to celebrate Earth Day, original Mother Earth Day than by recognising three women to celebrate both our Actressexual urges and our love for the Earth which the live on?

1. Julia Roberts in ERIN BROCKOVICH

three (plus) more divas after the jump

An excellent popcorn thriller/workplace drama/ et al, Erin Brovkovich benefits form successfully merging various aspects of itself – it’s a s semi-biopic, something of a legal drama, and a fine example than when left unaddressed the film’s heart is in the right place re the environment. Even though at Erin’s major hurdle is the more mercenary aspect of attaining a settlement for her clients it's a battle which emanates from an awareness of the way PG&E is distorting natural resources for sinister reasons. Part of Erin's appeal is that only happenstance leads her to the problem, but just the simple fact of Erin’s highlighting of the harmful effects of the company’s pollution on the water ways is the best endorsement for Earth Day we could hope for.

Sigourney Weaver in GORILLAS IN THE MIST

Animal’s role in Earth Day celebration sometimes tend to be downplayed. The term Earth day itself seems more devoted to appreciation of the flora than the flora and Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist has more to worry about than whether all groups are well represented by the celebrations. Still, from her devotion to finding a better life for her primates to her research in Rwanda Fossey is a fine indication that in caring for the earth appreciation for animals is as much a part of earth day as is caring for pants. Nature encompasses both aspects of natural life, and assisting in animal conservation and protection is as worthy of Earth Day accolades as much else.

Barbra Streisand in ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER

"Hey buds bellow, up is where to grow. Up with which below can’t compare with…

Does this choice seem to be something of a head-scratcher? Chain-smoking, clairvoyant Daisy Gamble finds former iterations of herself while in therapy and at once little of the film seems analogous with Earth Day celebrations. And yet, the opening title track is the perfect recitative for the day. For capricious Daisy has the ability to make plants grow remarkably well and in the opening track she urges them to sprout – “Hurry, it’s lovely up here” she tells them. On a Clear Day You Can See Forever directed by Vincente Minnelli isn’t a much remembered outing, but it’s especially memorable. Daisy’s easy innocence in urging plants to grow is notable, especially when – regardless of where you stand on issues like climate change – one realises that it’s not all “lovely up here” for the things and creatures of the earth.

And what a gift package of shower, sun and love

You'll be met above everywhere with,

Fondled and sniffed by millions who drift by,

Life here is rosy - if you're a posy

Hurry it's lovely here!

It’s an especially innocent turn of phrase, and it’s a shame that appreciation for the environment is not a character trait more characters don’t exercise as readily. Sometimes being an Earth Day ambassador could be as easy as helping flowers to grow, even if you can't talk to them.

And, here are three other versions of the plant loving track – Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth and original performer (Tony nominated performance) Barbara Harris.

 

To celebrate Earth Day at The Film Experience, take a page out of any of these ladies books - let's call them Champions of the Earth in their own ways or find an actress Earth Day Ambassador of your own. Which character from the actressexual within you would you choose to celebrate Earth Day?

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Reader Comments (7)

It's too bad much of "On A Clear Day" drags in the middle, largely due to Yves Montand---the score has a lot of lovely music (admittedly, I've never heard the Broadway cast album, which has at least another 6 songs), and the opening and closing of the film with Barbra singing in the garden are two of her most underrated moments on film. If they'd cast someone with more charisma as Mark (Sinatra famously circled it, but Albert Finney would've been interesting too, or Richard Burton), snipped some of the more outre fashion choices, and decided who present-day Daisy Gamble was supposed to be (it's obvious Streisand is flailing in some of the present-day scenes, especially those with her fiancee), it could've been a small classic instead of an uneven curio with some sparkling moments.

Your other two choices are aces--"Erin Brockovich" gets too much credit as The Julia Show, when it's a darn good movie in every aspect. And Weaver gives her ferocious all in "Gorillas." Maybe we could add the animated Pocahontas to this list? Her number "The Colors of the Wind" is in some ways even more ambitious and satisfying than the big "Circle of Life" opening from "The Lion King."

April 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDback

Oh how I love Julia in Brockovich - but Dback is right, it's a good movie in every respect, and a particularly beautiful movie to look at, courtesy of Ed Lachmann's cinematography.

April 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Dback - You're so right. Every scene in ON A CLEAR DAY that depends on Barbra only works to such great effect. Her "What Did I Have That I Don't Have?" is one of my favourite musical numbers and is such a great use of her comedic abilities. It's a shame the rest of the film isn't up to her abilities, even if I do enjoy it as a curio. (

Mike in Canada - I'm glad you and Dback both are cheering for ERIN BROCKOVICH. It is more than the Julia show and is all the way high up on my list of Soderbergh films, I cringe when it begins such a poor reputation by some.

April 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

nice to see "on a clear day" brought up since it isn't very often. I used to love love love that movie as a kid.

and obviously readers here know that i think Erin Brockovich is just a fucking great movie and WAY better than Traffic which i'm convinced only has the reputation it has because it's ambitions are lofty and it's a SERIOUS PRESTIGE PICTURE and therefore starts with an advantage in "esteem"... whereas Erin B is known as a star vehicle. Obviously Star Vehicles can be superior to Serious Prestige Pictures... but you have to be open for that to be the case.

April 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternathanielr

Julia Roberts is pretty darn great in Brockovich. I have a feeling working with Albert Finney upped her game, and she fed off his brilliance in ways that were new and ferocious to her. She included him in her Oscar speech, and it's obvious why. I think Del Toro deserved his Oscar, but damn Finney is just terrific in this movie.

I've seen clips on YT of Barbara Harris in OACDYCSF, and she's such a heartfelt entertainer. I so wish she was still doing movies. That title song has to be one of the greatest ever written for a Broadway show. Gives new meaning to the term SOARING. Oh yeah.

April 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I love, love, love Julia Roberts in "Erin Brockovich"! Here's hoping that starring with Meryl Streep will force her to up her game in August: Osage County. Every now and then, Julia is actually capable of a great performance, rather than coasting on her God-given charms. Great career dramatic performances comes in threes: Erin Brockovich in 2000, Closer in 2004, could it be August: Osage County in 2013??

She's already hit her trifecta in romantic comedies.. Pretty Woman in 1990, My Best Friend's Wedding in 1997, and Notting Hill in 1999.

April 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMiguel

Speaking of Babs!!!! Have you seen that she was honored for her film work with the Chaplin award!

Fly over to Barbra-Archives.com/news and check out the report! A bunch of stars were there to pay homage to her (even Deneuve)

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJackieOh

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