From the evil, the downtrodden, to the genuinely heart warming, here is a list of five very memorable female acts:
5. Marla Singer, Fight Club (1999). David Fincher casts Helena Bonham-Carter to play the love interest of both Tyler Durden and his alter-ego, jointly played by Edward Norton and Brad Pitt. In a world where Tyler’s insomnia leads him through a self-induced hell, the film shows the spiritual progression from a mundane existence to the rejection of the material life in favour of anarchism. Marla the greasy, filthy, chain-smoking and Xanax-popping woman is the single most stable character in this Fincher reality. I tip my hat to you, madame.
“Marla… the little scratch on the roof of your mouth that would heal if only you could stop tonguing it, but you can’t.”
4. Aileen Wuorno, Monster (2003). Patti Jenkins’ compelling film about the true story of a Daytona prostitute who became a serial killer. Played by Charlize Theron, this woman seeks revenge against the entirety of the male sex after being brutally raped and beaten. There’s a reason why Theron won the Academy Award for Best Actress in the leading role – the South African actress packed on nearly 40 lbs for the role, and underwent an unrecognizable physical transformation to better fit the part.
3. Morvern Callar, Morvern Callar (2002). Samantha Morton plays the role of Morvern, the cool existentialist whose boyfriend commits suicide on Christmas Eve. She then goes on a vacation with her friend without telling anyone, and the two of them go on an LSD bender and have casual sex with strangers. When her money runs low, Morvern publishes her dead boyfriend’s novel and disappears on a solo voyage. She never sheds a tear, but enjoys the silence of her introspection. Everyone wishes they could be these coping skills.
2. Maxine Lund, Being John Malkovich (1999). Director Spike Jonze gives us another unusual film where Craig Schwartz (John Cusack), a social misfit finds a portal in an office building that leads to John Malkovich’s mind for 15 mintues. This is what makes her amazing:
a. Maxine is played by Catherine Keener, the cruel, raven-haired beauty and the two of them learn how to use Malkovich’s body for their own personal gain, charging $200 to people who want to be John Malkovich for 15 minutes. This is evil already.
b. While working together, Craig falls in love with Maxine, who rejects him with little sympathy for his suffering. This is only moderately evil because it is fairly commonplace.
c. Maxine breaks up Craig’s marriage. His wife, Lotte (played by Cameron Diaz) goes into the portal when Maxine is on a date with the real Malkovich, and they have sexual intercourse. Maxine realizes that Lotte was inside of Malkovich, and decides that that she is a lesbian because the experience was very satisfying. This marks a spike in Maxine’s evilness.
d. Lotte and Craig are now fighting for Maxine’s love. Craig wins by enslaving Malkovich’s body and the two move in together. Lotte becomes obsessed by Maxine and tries to shoot her when Maxine is pregnant, but the two are able to reconcile.
e. When Craig leaves Malkovich’s body, Maxine dumps him for Lotte. She has broken down two people in her pursuit of self-discovery, but now settles down with Lotte and the two are happy together. She is a truly magical woman.
f. Three people fall madly in love with her in this film. Lotte, Craig, and even the real John Malkovich. Maxine dominates all the other characters in the same vein that stockholm syndrome takes hold in the captive – and this becomes literally true as the three of them become trapped in the body of John Malkovich. The only difference is, Craig enslaves himself on purpose in order to be happy and connected to her.
1. Vianne Rocher, Chocolat (2000). Juliette Binoche plays the ultimate seductress, the owner of a chocolate shop in a conservative French village. Upon arriving there with her six-year-old daughter, the shop represents a huge challenge to the town’s rigid sense of propriety and social attitudes towards sensuality. Vianne gets closer to many of the townspeople, who initially judge her because of her status as a single mother. Slowly but surely, she liberates the town through her chocolate and philosophy.