Having won the best actress award in Cannes this year for her performance in David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars” and dazzled the audiences at the recent Toronto International Film Festival with her portrayal of an Alzheimers-stricken professor in “Still Alice”, Julianne Moore has become Oscar prognosticators’ favourite to win the golden trophy in the best Actress category next February.
Known for fearlessly portraying emotionally troubled women, Moore began her career in the late 1980’s in TV, which she followed with supporting roles in movies such as Robert Altman’s Short Cuts (1993) and Steven Spielberg’s “The Lost World: Jurassic Park.” But she received her wide recognition in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, earning 4 Oscar nominations for her roles in “Boogie Nights (1997),” “The End of the Affair (1999),” “Far from Heaven (2002), and “The Hours (2002)”. In 2012, she gained an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Awards for portraying Sarah Palin in the television movie “Game Change.”
In this TV interview, which I conducted with her at Cannes Film Festival for BBC’s Alternative Cinema show, Moore expounded on her methods of inhabiting her complex roles. “I always start with the script, and then I get an interior feeling of who they should be and how should they accomplish it. And there would be things I have seen in my life that influence me, maybe even unconsciously that I ended up incorporating.”
In the Hollywood dark satire, Maps to the Stars, the the 53-year-old actress portrays an aging actress, who is sinking into depression and madness for missing parts that she feels are hers, but are given to younger actresses. Moore confirms that there are elements of reality to this sad existence in Hollywood.
Conversely, Moore’s age has been a blessing. Her career continues to flourish, reaching new heights every year. In “Still Alice”, which screened in Toronto International Film Festival last week, she hits emotional notes effortlessly and captures the feeling of a person losing her faculties without any of the broad or easy signposts of such on-screen declines.
Will she clutch the Oscar that had eluded her 4 times this time? Moore’s competition could come from Reese Witherspoon (Wild), Meryl Streep (Into the Woods) and Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything). So with the dearth of outstanding female performances this year, Moore’s chances are quite good, albeit politics could change everything in the next few months.