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Your Reminder That Julianne Moore is Now An Oscar Winner

We should start every morning this beautifully in 2015

a moment 20+ years in the making

It was "the foxiest bitch in the world" Amber Waves that first won Julianne Moore her legion of obsessed fans and should have won her the Oscar back when Boogie Nights (1997) first dropped its pants and entered pop culture. Sure, the ginger goddess had been fun in films before that like the trash hit The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992) and the romantic comedy Benny & Joon (1993) -- her first stab at playing a bad actress, a recurring and utterly delightful subthread in her filmography -- and she even got to slap Madonna early on onscreen (Body of Evidence, 1993). And she'd been brilliant before Amber in films like Shortcuts (1993), Vanya on 42nd Street (1994) and [safe] (1995) but the latter two were slow burns, only developing their ardent fanbases later on DVD and the first was loved for reasons well beyond and usually eclipsing Julianne's work.

Julianne first truly turned heads in 1993 in a trio of "who is that?" performances: SHORT CUTS, BENNY & JOON, & THE FUGITIVEShortcuts in particular had an interesting awards history. It was one of those odd ensemble pieces, courtesy of Robert Altman, wherein noone ever settled on a favorite performance. The Golden Globes were wise, presaging the invention of SAG's ensemble prize by giving it a special award. Julianne nabbed the films sole acting nomination at a major event with Independent Spirit Awards, but the critics weren't yet in Juli's corner. The NYFCC liked Jennifer Jason Leigh best citing only her (3rd place in their prizes), the NSFC gave their actual supporting actress win to Madeleine Stowe (also my favorite performance in that particular film) as Moore's sister, and the Chicago Film Critics rallied around Andie Macdowell. Oscar didn't know what to do with it either so Robert Altman won the films only nomination for Best Director*. 

But however long it took Julianne to get there, taking her place in history as a Best Actress winner, she got there.  Over the years she continually revealed new shades, new angles, and fresh daring and mystery as a performer, and became a leading lady par excellence to compliment her early supporting genius. She's also kind to fans and visibly appreciative of her good fortune in the industry. Everyone's personal favorite performances vary with a gallery of characters this rich but for yours truly she has more than earned this Oscar.

To Julianne: for Alice, Yelena, Mia, Havana Segrand, Barbara Baekeland, Laura Brown, Linda Partridge, Maude Lebowski, Marian Wyman, Marlene Craven, Sarah Miles and especially for that holy trinity of Amber Waves, Cathy Whitaker and Carol White: thank you, god. You've earned this golden man several times over. May Laurel Hester in Freeheld, your next creation, be a worthy and compelling victory lap. Yours always, xo, Nathaniel 

I love you.

*It's another topic entirely but the films that have only one nomination and its Best Director have always been a fascinating curiousity within Oscar history: see also Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet, The Last Temptation of Christ

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Reader Comments (51)

Boogie Nights is a '97 release.

I'm speechless about Moore's victory. Her happiness is motivating.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful


February 23, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterstjean

Just saw Still Alice this weekend was pleasantly surprised after all the "meh" reviews. How satisfying that her win is for a pretty great performance, if maybe not her all-time best. So, so happy for her.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

It's a beautiful day.

P.S. Add Blue Velvet to that list.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLuiserghio

It seriously makes me feel so warm inside. <3

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

"...that Oscar nominated holy trinity of Amber Waves, Cathy Whitaker and Carol White..."

Wait, she was nominated for [safe] ?

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDominique

I just remember that great moment from 2002: David Lynch (Mulholland Drive) giving a hug to Robert Altman (Gosford Park) while Ron Howard was getting his best director oscar for A Beautiful Mind.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

A few years ago, I made peace with the fact that Julianne Moore was just going to go down in history as one of the many great actresses for whom the Oscar was always elusive. Her victory for an excellent performance and acknowledgement of everything she's given us in film over the years felt so...right. Academy Award Winner Julianne Moore. Hell yes, it feels good to say.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterThe Pretentious Know it All

Linda Partridge!

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Nathaniel, I was thinking all day that finally the The Hours trio have Oscars. I even imagined Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep handing the Oscar to Julianne....or at least hoped for a picture of them together :D
Knowing that she won made my day :)

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel B.

Daniel -- what a great realization. i hadn't yet made it so thank you. Now if we can just get Miranda Richardson & Toni Collette and Allison Janney Oscars ;)

February 23, 2015 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R


February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

And Annette Bening, And Joan Allen. And Laura Linney. And Angela Bassett. Julianne's victory is now giving me hope for all of my Oscar-less favs!

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterThe Pretentious Know it All

Now that Goddess has finally been recognized properly, my list is:

Glenn Close
Laura Linney
Amy Adams
Toni Collette
Laura Dern
Miranda Richardson (I want my son back! I want Martin! Martin!)
Isabelle Huppert
Michelle Pfeiffer
Annette Bening
Jacki Weaver
Olivia Colman

The only one I think will happen is Adams though.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

That Hours cast always features Oscar bridesmaid Ed Harris, one-time nominee John C. Reilly, sorta snubbee Jeff Daniels, Emmy darlings Claire Danes and Margo Martindale, and genius Eileen Adkins. There's hope for them all.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

This is a good day! :)

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRico

Best Actress: Champs Julianne Moore
3 Nominations (99, 02, 14)
1 Win (14)
2 Supporting Nominations (97, 02)

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

The internet:
Please photoshop The Hours poster with 5 oscar statutes.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRico

It's funny how I found myself caring less and less about who would win the other awards, just knowing that Juli's moment was coming. I'm so proud for her; it's as if I've won an Oscar too. Beautiful picture of her too - you can feel her joy.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

TPKiA: Let's go hope by hope:

The Bening: Shockingly uneven actress. When she's good (American Beauty, The Kids Are All Right, The Grifters), she's on fire, but when she's bad (Running with Scissors), she's borderline unwatchable. With the right opportunity, maybe.
Angela Bassett: When you've passed into the This Means War/Olympus has Fallen phase of your career, you have to know that that Oscar almost definitely isn't coming.
Laura Linney: The last time she made a decision that was embarrassing even on paper was signing onto The Nanny Diaries, so I wouldn't call this impossible. If she stuns, maybe a supporting win for Genius?
Joan Allen: Also might win supporting actress, because of a little something called ROOM.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Celebrating by ordering the Criterion version of [safe], which apparently has Julianne on the commentary track.

Also, that Short Cuts still is a nice reminder that Julianne is playing a pretty bad artist in that movie too (those are Marian's portraits hanging on the wall.)

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

AND she's got that five extra years with her handsome younger husband.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I had long ago consigned her to being our modern day Barbara Stanwyck. Thank goodness I was wrong. :)

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSanty C.

Crazy to think that now there will be people born who will never know a world where Julianne Moore wasn't an Oscar winner. They are truly blessed.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBaxter

"Still Alice" still isn't in my area yet. Can't be all that excited about Moore's Oscar win when I haven't seen the film which most circles call middling Lifetime fare.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKyle

An Oscar went to Julianne Moore, and all is right with the world.

I first noticed her in The Fugitive, but was truly impressed by Short Cuts. Your summary of Short Cuts with it's four (!) supporting parts for women made me very nostalgic for the talents of Robert Altman. Let's not dwell on what we have lost however.
In all of those after party shots there has to be a decent one of Julianne, Nicole & Meryl.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

I didn't really notice her as HER until Boogie Nights, and then looked her up and realized I'd seen and liked her in at least a couple of movies prior to that ('97 was when my movie fanatacism was really ramping up). I've been a devoted fan ever since. The Academy is 17 years late, and they still owe her one or two more, but last night was an excellent start.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Trivia-wise, she is now the 9th-oldest Best Actress winner, and only the second woman in her 50s to win the prize.

Eddie Redmayne, by comparison, is the 7th-youngest Best Actor winner.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSean C.

What are they doing to that Oscar? Affixing the name plate?

I pray that this lights a fire underneath every talented 50-something actress in Hollywood to buckle down and really go for the gold. (Surely Pfeiffer could use some of that David E. Kelley syndication money to option or develop something truly remarkable as a Crazy Heart-esque showcase for her gifts.)

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Correction: Redmayne is the 8th-youngest winner.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSean C.

Your reminder that González Iñárritu is NOW an Oscar winner invalidates everything else. Julianne were fine to begin with. She's not THAT desperate and it shows.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

Crazy time-warp quote from your interview with Julianne: "I was just talking about this to this young actress, this girl, Emma Stone. Most of your career you spend with men."

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Clark

@Kyle: It's a myth that "most circles" have reduced "Still Alice" to TV movie fare. It has a 90% critics and 85% audience score on RT, not that far off other films this year like "Birdman" and "Gone Girl." It's audience score is slightly higher than "Boyhood." It has a more than respectable 7.5 on IMDB at the moment. I find that the "circles" you speak of are mostly internet-based bloggers and the like who are miffed that their own "cutting edge" favorites have been snubbed somehow, especially "Gone Girl" and Rosamund Pike.

Even if "Still Alice" IS a middling TV movie, that only makes Julianne's incredible performance more salient. She single-handedly takes a film with shortcomings and turns it into a movie that a lot of people acclaim. Not many actors can do that.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

Julianne is the 10th oldest Best Actress winner, not 9th. But still. Crazy either way.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I've seen Still Alice twice and it's anything but Lifetime fare. Even the first time when I was less than impressed with the film as a whole, I never thought that. And the second time I saw it, I was much more impressed. I think it's a fantastic and heartbreaking movie.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

if you look at the audience shot when Julianne won, Nicole and Meryl are right in the front row watching her, and Meryl is making a cute face at Julianne, like " yes girl this is your moment ".

I think there's hope for Laura Linney, who Julianne resembles in some ways career wise. Naomi Watts could still win. Glenn Close will be given an honorary eventually.
Amy Adams will probably win soon also. the rest- no. too late.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNina

Nat when I told the b/f this morning he simply said "I don't care and neiTHer will the wolrd by next year".

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermark

I'm hoping Naomi is undeniably great in something soon. She has a perfect Oscar showcase role (supportive wife) coming up with Sea of Trees.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

All over Hollywood Actresses in Hollywood probably let out a sigh of relief that it is possible.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermark

She looks like a little girl at the ice cream parlor waiting for her order. <3

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoel V

The hand that rocks the cradle now truly is the hand that rules the world. Congratulations, Julianne!!!

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

I'm very happy for her, but she should have won long before, when she was in her thirties. I really think that we'll never see Glenn Close, Bening, Weaver or Pfeiffer winning an Oscar, but who cares,they have had remarkable careers and that in itself is as good an award as you can get, some Oscar winning actresses will eventually be forgotten.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteralexander


February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Considering that a few years back, people thought she would slowly fade to television permanently (she got pilot offers etc.) like many actresses her age, not to mention her "dark years" 2003-2007 (excluding I'm Not There and Children of Men), it's amazing to see how brilliantly Moore bounced back this decade:
From best picture nominee The Kids Are All Right to acclaim / TV awards sweep for Game Change to winning within only one year the CANNES best Actress award for her fantastic performance in Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars AND finally the best actress OSCAR (next to gazillion of other honors) for Still Alice. Quite an unprecedented achievement, especially for an American actress in her early 50s.

Also, she is now the only actress to have ever won all the following awards: an Oscar, a Golden Globe and the European triple crown (Cannes, Venice, Berlin).

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered Commentercinephile

@ Bruno: I'll make that determination for myself once "Still Alice" gets here. Thanks.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKyle

So nice to see her winning. No matter the outcome, Best Actress is my favorite category too. But someone I would adore to see winning is Glenn Close, though I know she stands very little chance...

My spirits calmed down and all was right in the world to me as soon as a certain actress won another one. To me it was a huge relief and I would have that relief no matter what performance she won for or who she beat. It can be judged as a blind and brainless way of thinking, but I surrendered to it long ago.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGage Creed

@3rtful: I see what you did there. Thanks for that! And I'm taking the hint. :)

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

Why hasn't someone photoshopped Julianne and Eddie's Savage Grace in bed scene, replacing Hugh Dancy with Oscar and showing them laugh that they've had their way with him?

PS This may be the happiest Oscar win of my lifetime.

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Hey, put a "thank you" for The Doctor's Wife too. I saw that again this weekend and she was brilliant, much better than I used to remember.

February 24, 2015 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

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