Julianne Moore has starred in a number of Oscar-worthy movies. She has also appeared in some duds. So we decided to rank her best films. In this remake of Brian De Palma’s classic, Moore plays Clarice Starling years after she tracked down Hannibal Lecter. It’s a compelling cat-and-mouse thriller.
1. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
Julianne Moore has proven herself to be one of the most enduringly talented actors of her generation. She’s won Oscars for countless roles, but her performances in Still Alice and Far From Heaven stand out as two of her most acclaimed works.
Far From Heaven features Moore as Cathy Whitaker, a 1950’s housewife who strikes up an unlikely relationship with her gardener. The affair ignites their quiet suburban life with vicious, insidious gossip.
Moore proves she’s adept at playing unlikable characters in this Atom Egoyan film. Her character’s desperation in the face of a midlife crisis is brought to life through simple mannerisms and a raw, authentic portrayal. The m4ufree film also boasts a climactic bottom-half nude monologue that’s sure to leave you wanting more. Click for a trailer and more information on the movie.
2. The Kids Are All Right
Moore’s fruitful collaboration with director Todd Haynes began with this chilly, quiet meditation on modern malaise. The actress gives a powerful performance as Carol, a wealthy housewife who believes her environment is making her both physically and mentally sick.
It would be easy to dismiss this melodrama as another film aimed at pushing the boundaries of gay marriage, but Cholodenko – a lesbian and parent herself – sails unflinchingly into the drama and slapstick goings-on that occur when her family’s sperm donor becomes involved in their lives.
This underrated erotic thriller is one of Julianne’s most challenging roles, as she delves into the dark recesses of her character’s inner conflict. The results are provocative, sexy and utterly gripping. This is a career-defining film for Moore. It was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. This film also features a strong supporting cast including Oscar Isaac and Matt Damon.
3. The Hours
If you’re looking for a movie that showcases Julianne Moore’s range and talent, look no further than The Hours. This darkly erotic Toronto-set thriller features three separate stories that are linked together by their connection to Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway. Moore plays Catherine, a woman who decides to hire an escort (Chloe) to test her husband’s loyalty and begins a thrilling labyrinth of desire that threatens to engulf her entire existence.
Moore can emote with the best of them, and she is a natural in melodramas like this one from Todd Haynes. Her portrayal of a housewife struggling to understand the reasons behind her discontented life is nothing short of brilliant.
4. Far From Heaven
With one foot in the glamour of old Hollywood and the other in the fearless, edgier confines of modern cinema, Julianne Moore is among that rare breed of talented actresses who can bounce between commercially viable projects and art house masterpieces with ease. Despite some initial struggle, the gifted star has earned a reputation for delivering top-notch work in both arenas.
Todd Haynes’s tribute to the 1950s small town melodramas of Douglas Sirk is a stunningly nuanced drama about conformity and prejudice, with Moore’s understated performance as the naive Cathy Whitaker pulling off some remarkable feats of acting.
Her portrayal of a woman teetering on the edge of stability is both heartbreaking and uplifting. This is one of the most memorable roles of Moore’s career, winning her a well-deserved Oscar.
5. The Myth of Fingerprints
Julianne Moore has a knack for choosing the right roles, and she’s proven time and again that she is one of Hollywood’s finest actresses. She has a rare ability to bring depth and emotion to even the most banal material.
In 1997’s The Myth of Fingerprints, Bart Freundlich directed Moore, Blythe Danner, Roy Scheider and Noah Wyle (who later married Freundlich) in a drama about a dysfunctional family gathering during Thanksgiving in New England. Fly-on-the-wall techniques let us watch the adult children — including a short-tempered city bitch with a psychotherapist boyfriend; a shag-happy brother intermittently in and out of relationships; and a troubled ER doc — reveal their dark secrets.
The story centers on Cathy Whitaker, a 1950s housewife who strikes up an affair with her African-American gardener (Dennis Haysbert). The quiet little film is heavy on insidious gossip and resentment, but it’s Moore’s melancholic presence that makes it work.