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Posterized: Julianne Moore, Leading Roles Only

by Nathaniel R

Let's start a new season of Posterized, shall we?

With Gloria Bell expanding nationwide (or thereabouts) let's talk about Julianne Moore's leading roles. She's now in her Post-Oscar years which can be tricky territory for actresses but if Gloria Bell is indication she still has a lot more left in her.

We can't do the ginger goddess's entire filmography on Posterized because she works almost as much as Nicole Kidman, and apparently considers no part or no project too small to be part of. She's been in over 70 movies since her debut in the horror flick Tales of the Darkside (1990) but many of those were supporting roles. So let's focus on ONLY the films that she either headlined or co-headlined (in case of films without one clear lead) for this week's episode shall we, which takes us down to a far more reasonable 27 pictures. How many have you seen? All 27 posters are after the jump...

ACT 1. A RISING STAR (1994-1999)

VANYA ON 42ND STREET (1994) -Boston Society Film Critics Winner
SAFE (1995) - Independent Spirit Nomination
AN IDEAL HUSBAND (1999) -Globe Nomination, NBR Winner (supporting, shared)
THE END OF THE AFFAIR (1999) - Oscar, Globe, SAG, BAFTA Nominations

It seems fitting that her first leading role was actually within an ensemble picture -- she was fifth billed for Vanya but the billing was alphabetical. Though we like to think of Short Cuts (1993) or Vanya (1994) or Safe (1995) retroactively as her original calling cards, her true breakthrough to the A list year was 1997 when she was second billed in a Jurassic Park movie (though it was really an ensemble picture) and won best-in-show raves for two other ensemble pictures: The Myth of Fingerprints and Boogie Nights, for which she snagged her first Oscar nomination. She was no longer a "up and coming" talent but had officially arrived. 


She's in demand but this filmography is truly all over the place.  

FAR FROM HEAVEN (2002) - LAFCA, NBR, Critics Choice, Venice Festival, and Spirit wins,  Globe, SAG, and Oscar nominations
THE HOURS (2002) - Berlinale and LAFCA wins, SAG and Oscar nominations




Given that she hasn't usually been a "bankable" star Hollywood appeared to be gradually losing interest but then came another best picture contender, and then the Emmy-winning detour, and then the Oscar, cementing her legend.

CHLOE (2009)
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (2010) - Globe, BAFTA nominations

6 SOULS (2010)
GAME CHANGE (2012) - Emmy, Globe, SAG wins

MAPS TO THE STARS (2014) - Globe nomination, Cannes win
STILL ALICE (2014) - NBR, Critics Choice, Spirit, Globe, SAG, and Oscar wins

ACT 3. THE POST OSCAR YEARS (2015-ongoing)

BEL CANTO (2018)

Though Hollywood has definitely made major improvements in our lifetimes about how they treat older actresses (it used to be the media and the industry would start worrying about your expiration date in your late 30s... (if you lived through the early 90s and saw in real time how the media turned on Meryl Streep when she hit 40 you know of which we speak!)  and that is definitely not true anymore. Generally speaking the A list ladies have until their early 50s now before people start getting bitchy about them. Julianne is 58 years old so it's tough to say how long the leading roles will continue. But given her workaholic nature and her obvious love of juicy supporting roles we suspect she'll transition quite nicely into her senior citizen years even if the leading roles do abruptly stop. 

How many of those 27 pictures have you seen? It's weird to toss out her supporting roles, right (?), since she's had a few iconic ones! 

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Reader Comments (40)

Only 9! I still haven't seen Still Alice, but Gloria Bell may well be my favorite performance from her. I hope she is still in the Oscar conversation at the end of the year.

March 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

I have seen 8... so a lot to catch up, what obviously I'm looking forward to. ;)
I liked her role in TKAA more than Benings.

March 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

Only 12!

Always been one of my very favourite actresses. Also the one I’m most comfortable calling out when she’s not doing her best. Lol

March 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRoger


March 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLuiz Carlos

16/27 so far....

March 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

14 - I am still mad about that her best Performances (for me) in The Hours and Far from Heaven were oscarless! She was worthy in BOTH of THEM in the SAME Year! LOve her so much! I realize I see a lot more movies of her, but most are supporting. Interesting! hm....

March 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

18, but I'm seeing Gloria Bell tomorrow.

I've never heard of Marie and Bruce despite the fact that I love Julianne and was going through a major Campbell Scott phase when it was made.

March 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Only 9, but I want to see many more. I thought she was perfection in Gloria Bell. Am I the only one who thought her Oscar win should have been for Maps To the Stars?

March 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

suzanne - marie & bruce is not very good which might be why. It works better as a play but even as a play (i saw it once with marisa tomei in the marie role) it's an acquired taste.

brookebsoy -- i also totally lurved her in Maps to the Stars. but that release was so fucked up. it was one of those did they or id they not release that? situations.

March 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I've seen 12. That's way too low. Imma fix it soon.

Also, if Game Change had been theatrically released I'm pretty certain Moore would've been nominated. Shit, if I were to put TV movies in my personal awards she'd have won.

March 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Posterized is back! I'm so happy. It's so beautiful. Letterbox should be paying you royalties.

I've seen them all except the one with Pierce Brosnan, the one based on Saramago's novel and that 6 souls thing.

I'll be watching Gloria Bell soon, although we all know it should have been Annette Bening or Melissa Leo.

March 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Love Posterized too!

I've seen 12. She should have won for FFH. But Still Alice was a worthy win. (The book is tough and sad, too.)

Kind of wasted in 9 Months, with little chemistry with the charming Hugh Grant.

I saw the Prize winner only because one of my best friends is from Defiance, Ohio.

March 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

I really wish she had won for Far From Heaven instead of Still Alice.

March 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter?

18. She’s one of my all-time favorites.

I remember reading once that for a significant amount of time she fashioned her film choices around schedules and locations of shoots, so that she could be as present for her kids growing up as possible. I always wondered if that factored into her post 2002-slump. In any case, I thought it was admirable.

March 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJJM

I’ve seen 8, including 6 Souls.

March 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPedro

I’ve only seen 9.
Sometimes I love her and find her sweet, funny, and inventive. Other times I find her bland and rather insular.

But I think she must be a great person to work with, because when she’s paired with another artist of verve and style, she really gets them, matches them, and brings out the best in them. Annette Bening, Rupert Everett, Pierce Brosnan, Mia Wasikowski - those are terrific duets.

March 23, 2019 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Am I the only one who thought Moore was first among equals in Safe? It was a mannered film which did not bother me. She may be a film scholar/director's muse when she essayed roles such as Safe and Far From Heaven but she always makes her characterisations real (to me at least) and accessible.

So yeah, I love her in Safe, Far From Heaven, The Hours, Maggie's Plan and The Kids Are Alright. I wish I could even be brazen enough to suggest that she was better than Bening in The Kids Are Alright, but I won't disrespect Annette Bening.

March 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterOwl

I’ve seen 19, I don’t think Bel Canto or Gloria Bell have opened in the UK yet.

March 23, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchoog

I've seen 19, but a list without "Short Cuts", "Fingerprints", "Boogie Nights", "Lebowski", "Cookie", "Magnolia", "Children of Men", "A Single Man" or even "Suburbicon" seems very weird indeed. It's for our benefit that she doesn't shy away from supporting roles that will stand the test of time much better than some of her leading ones.

March 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterFrank JP

I wish I could embrace Gloria Bell, but based on the evidence Sebastián Lelio is getting worse with each film.

March 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAlfred

I've seen 22. Without the supporting performances, it does give a very spotty view of her talent. Her 90s look so much ropier without The Big Lebowski and Boogie Nights, especially. For me at least, she's one of the greats, and consistently undervalued in terms of what she's capable of both tonally and as a comic actor. One of my favourite, nastier performances is Savage Grace, which she's just so incredibly committed to (even if I can't quite forgive that film for launching Eddie Redmayne on us!).

March 23, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterben1283

Only 9... but the gazillion viewings of The Hours and Far From Heaven feel like I've seen them all. Plus I have the Maps to the Stars DVD somewhere so I'm closer to 10.

I'm embarrassed to say that I never got to watch Safe, Savage Grace (I know it got tepid/negative reviews but the book and story are so fascinating) and An Ideal Husband, but some of those titles (and posters!) look pretty awful.

I don't know if I'm curious about Gloria Bell just yet. The original was wonderful, so I'm not sure I see the point...

March 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterFrenchToast

25. I miss only Bel Canto and The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio.
Yes, it's true, without the supporting performances you can't have a complete view of her astonishing range. Short Cuts, Lebowski, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Cookie, A Single Man, even Don Jon and Maggie's Plan: she is an incomparabile treasure.
As for her leading roles, besides the obvious choices, I love her in Savage Grace and Chloe, two towering, ferocious turns no one else could have accomplished the way she did.

She is MAGNIFICENT in Gloria Bell. Definitely it's one of her greatest 5 performances together with Fare From Heaven, Safe, Maps to the Stars and The Hours.

March 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterFerdi

20! More than I thought.

My favorite of her leading performances are (in rough order): 1) Far from Heaven, 2) Safe, 3) Maps, 4) Still Alice, and 5) Vanya –– but I've yet to see Gloria Bell.

March 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

I think I have seen 9 or 10 (I might have seen ideal husband, but probably didn't finish...). Far from Heaven is still my favorite in this lot.

March 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRicopolo

@BVR - Oh yes, Vanya. Sometimes I forget how trascendent she is in it.

An Ideal Husband is now almost compltely forgotten but it's a delight and she is delicious as Mrs Cheveley. And even in one of her biggest missteps, Freedomland, I think she is desperately heartwrenching.

Anyway, Nathaniel, please: you definitely should do a posterized part 2 with her supporting roles.

March 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterFerdi

Owl -
Moore IS better than Bening in The Kids Are Alright.

Ferdi -
I co-sign your posterized part 2 idea.

Nat -
Have seen 16 of these. She's really great!
Anxious for Gloria Bell!

March 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

Wow, that is a lot of noodles thrown against the wall. Loved Safe, The Hours, Game Change, and Maps To The Stars.

March 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJono

And The Kids Are All Right. All very good.

March 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJono

I've seen only 6: Nine Months, Jurassic World (so time ago that i dont even remember her) Far From Heaven, The Hours, The Forgotten, and The English Teacher but is great because i use to love the actors that works more in supporting roles instead of being the leads, specially if your filmography include titles like Magnolia, Boogie Nights, Children of Men, Short Cuts orThe Big Lebowski

March 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCésar Gaytán

@Nathaniel - I'd like to read your thoughts on Gloria Bell, I Know you absolutely LOVED the original and I remember the Chris Feil B+ review and his rave about Juli's take on the character. What do YOU think? She Is receveing the best reviews of her career and rightly so. I think she deserves to be in the awards conversation at the end of the year

March 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterFerdi

22. Still can’t believe the incredible awards run of “Still Alice.” Just watched “Gloria Bell” this weekend and she is pretty spectacular.

March 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge P.

Forgot to mention her early role in Altman’s Short Cuts. Somewhat startling to watch an actress have to perform a full frontal scene with no pants on.

March 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

People answering 8 or 9 must be banned from this site.

March 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoan Castleman

I've seen 9- she should have gotten an Oscar for "Far From Heaven" a modern classic

March 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

One of the things I love about her is that she has these generally agreed-upon masterclass performances, but then she has all of these other gems of performances in her filmography, many of them overlooked. She's wonderful in What Maise Knew, Savage Grace, Cookie's Fortune, Don Jon, Maggie's Plan, Wonderstruck, An Ideal Husband ... hell, I even found her quite moving in Freeheld despite the lack of chemistry with Page. She's been in some iffy films (including some that I just mentioned), but she's done a ton of superlative work.

One thing I will say is that I do not like the films she's done with her husband. She's quite good in Myth of Fingerprints, but the movie itself is not very good. And Trust the Man is absolutely AWFUL and wastes the talents of Moore, Crudup, and Gyllenhaal.

March 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJJM

When you lump them up like this, it becomes glaring how many turds she's starred in. There was a time between her banner year 2002 and her ressurgence with Game Change that I thought she was gone the way of Renee Zellwegger.

Fortunately, she pulled it together and followed her Sarah Palin awards run with a good supporting role in A Single Man, then a co-lead in The Kids Are All Right, marking her comeback into good movies.

She's a terrific actress, especially at playing weak, bewildered and existencially lost women. She's probably the best "victim of the circumstances" actress since Olivia DeHavilland, who elevated the archetype to its highest.

I look forward to Gloria Bell, having seen and loved the original Gloria.

March 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen Sandiego

Have seen 12...would like to see Vanya, Gloria Bell and Blindness.

March 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEoghan McQ

"One of my favourite, nastier performances is Savage Grace, which she's just so incredibly committed to (even if I can't quite forgive that film for launching Eddie Redmayne on us!)."

- lol @ben1283 so I have to see it.

March 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEoghanMcQ

I first saw her in Lost World Jurassic Park. I was only 13 but I knew she was something special.

March 31, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTom G.

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