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Entries in Flirting (3)

Friday
Sep282018

Happy 50th to Naomi Watts!

by Nathaniel R

the actress at Venice a month ago

Happy 50th birthday to Naomi Watts, born on this day in England. Many of us think of her as an Australian actress since that's where she first emerged but she didn't move there until she was 14. The first two movies I personally saw her in were Flirting (1991) and Tank Girl (1995). Flirting really ought to be enshrined and preserved for eternity since it gave us early looks at four enduring careers. Naomi has a small role but the three principal players are Nicole Kidman, Noah Taylor, and Thandie Newton. 

Naomi is so young in this clip of the girls "arriving" to a cross-school dance, that she's almost unrecognizable. She's the one in the pink with her hair up. But it's Nicole and Thandie that the cameras follow...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct172014

Posterized: Naomi Watts

It's good to be Naomi Watts right now which is something of a surprise since last year it wasn't. But then the blonde Aussie's career has always been like that. Let's investigate.

Naomi Watts photographed by Mark Abrahams for More magazine

In the Posterized series, now beginning a new season so expect one each Friday, we look back at a star's career through their movie posters. Sometimes it's their giant sized faces and sometimes they don't appear on the poster at all. Such are the vagaries of stardom and advertisements.

In Naomi's film debut she didn't even get a name. The then 18 year old actress was billed as "Leo's Girlfriend" I couldn't find a movie poster of that one so we begin five years later when the actress, after a few TV stints debuted properly opposite her best friend Nicole Kidman in Flirting (1991) a terrific Australian coming of age movie you should seek out. A few random TV stints sprinkle her filmography but it's been mostly movies ever since. Out of kindness I'm not including Movie 43 (I'm assuming the hundreds of stars in that one want to forget it, right?) so let's look at the other 39 films. 

HOW MANY HAVE YOU SEEN? 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug302012

A Love Letter to Noah Taylor

[Editor's Note: Melanie Lynskey Guest Blogging Continues!]

So, the movie Lawless came out last night. I don't know a whole lot about westerns, but I do know this movie is filled with great actors. Including, one of my absolute, all-time, favourite actors, Noah Taylor.

I remember so clearly the first time I saw Noah Taylor in a movie. I was 16, and I saw the movie Flirting, and that was it. I was in love. I loved his face, I loved the way he walked. I loved his voice and the little lisp in it. I loved the way he looked at Thandie Newton so shyly but so directly at the same time. There was such a lovely, innocent quality to him, but underneath it was something really powerful. He was sexy in a very unexpected way. There's a little edge to him and he's so funny in that movie. I went on a Noah Taylor rampage. I saw The Year My Voice Broke, I saw The Nostradamus Kid. At a certain point I realised that the reason I loved him so much was that there is an incredible vulnerability to him. You feel his soul radiating when he's on screen. He just has to glance sideways and you feel your heart twisting in compassion. There is something in his eyes that made me feel like this person has known and understands life, and love, and suffering, and he's putting it up on this screen with no filter. As the young David Helfgott in Shine, he is like a walking open wound. There is such a sweetness to that performance. But you feel him breaking as the movie goes on... just taking the mistreatment and quietly shifting and trying to adjust himself until he collapses inward. It all happens very subtly, but he really sets up Geoffrey Rush's insanely great performance as the older david.

Over the years Noah Taylor has become a truly great and versatile character actor. Every time I see him on screen, I cannot look away. He's played sweet dads (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), rock and roll band managers (Almost Famous), and Adolf Hitler (Max) and been utterly believable as every one. He can play comedy (The Life Aquatic) so beautifully; there is a realness to his humour that is so appealing, and that sweet face can be so goofy when he wants to be goofy. But he can easily access a dangerous quality that can set you on edge. I also love the wide range of genres and sizes of movies he's done. He can do a big silly action movie (Tomb Raider) and look like he's having so much fun while also, totally committing (not easy), and then fit right in to something like The Proposition.

Noah in [from top left]: The Year My Voice Broke, Flirting, Shine, He Died with a Falafel in His Hands, The Life Aquatic, and Submarine

Noah Taylor, I love you, and I'm so happy you're in movies.

- Melanie Lynskey

Next: Chain love letter