Saturday, January 11, 2014

The 10 movie characters I am most attracted to

Defining Beauty

I'm sure you have seen people list their top 10, 50, or 100 hottest actors or actresses in all kinds of places on the Internet. Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, IMDB, a forum, or perhaps on their own blog. You'll also encounter it in popular magazines. We've all made lists like that, although many just exist in our heads. Well, I'm going to attempt to name my 10 favorites here.

We all measure beauty in different ways, and there are many different kinds of beauty in the world. However, most of these Top 10s are really lists of people we would like to have sex with, aren't they? I can't possibly make a list like that, because physical attractiveness is way down on my list of priorities when it comes to measuring beauty. I care about people's personalities, whether they are kind, ethical, honest, or good people. I am not attracted to physical beauties who lack intelligence, empathy, or kindness.

That means I can't make a list of 10 actresses based on looks. I have never met these women. I have no idea what they are really like, or whether I could spend more than five minutes in a room with them. We rarely see them in a real situation because they are always acting out a role, whether on the screen or at an awards show.

So what I am going to do is list the 10 characters that I find most attractive. None of them actually exist, so the list is pretty meaningless, but it will give you an insight into the way that I think.

I think I just lost 30 readers.

As Ebert taught us, I'll list them in alphabetical order rather than by preference. I'm also only allowing one character per actress, just for variety. Here goes:

Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga)

It's hard to describe why I like Vera Farmiga. I do love Up in the Air and I have chosen Alex because she's intelligent, and seems to be a lot of fun. She's also fiercely independent and an adulterer. The latter would usually be a huge negative for me, but I'm seeing her through the eyes of Ryan Bingham when I watch the movie.

Alex seems like the sort of woman who would try anything once, and she wouldn't need three hours to apply makeup before she would consider leaving the house. Yep, she's very appealing.

Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt)

One of my friends has figured out that I am attracted to vulnerable women, and in a way she is right. I find myself wanting to save them and fix everything that is wrong with their lives.

Carol is a single mother who works as a waitress to support her sick little boy. As Good as It Gets is an unconventional film. It's hard to imagine her making the choices she finally makes, but she seems pretty special. As Jack Nicholson's character said, she made him want to be a better man.

Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson)

Talking of vulnerability, Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson) is dying and in need of a heart transplant. In Seven Pounds, she faces her likely death with enormous grace, demanding nothing and refusing to feel too sorry for herself.

Dawson's performance opposite Will Smith is wonderful and touching. Here's a woman who deserves to live so that she can pursue her modest dreams. She does receive unconditional love from her dog, but she deserves to have a full life.

Henriette Roi (Marie-Josée Croze)

Henriette works in a hospital and she's given the task of helping a stroke victim find a way to communicate with the world. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is an extraordinary story and Henriette's compassion and commitment is a vital component. 

Of course, if I really lived with a woman like that, she would probably work ridiculous hours and I wouldn't see her very often. I'm still attracted to her character though.

Hermione Granger (Emma Watson)

I would have to suddenly be 20 again, but my younger self would definitely be attracted to Hermione. She's loyal, intelligent, and an incredibly good person. Oh, there's a maniac trying to kill her, so I could save her too.

Emma Watson has to be the best find from the Harry Potter series. I'm extremely impressed with what she has achieved so far.

Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page)

I'm still 20 and I'm attracted to Juno MacGuff. She's in trouble in the worst way, but has a good support system that I would want to be a part of. She's funny, intelligent, and weird in a great way. I would have to continue her musical education and convert her to Sonic Youth, but she has potential.

Seriously, I would love it if Jason Reitman chooses to make a sequel so we can see what happens to Juno.

Mathilde Donnay (Audrey Tautou)

It is hard to choose just one of Audrey Tautou's characters because most are easy to like. 

In A Very Long Engagement, Mathilde suffers from polio and the love of her life is missing and presumed dead. However, she never gives up hope, and follows one lead after another. The story is a great quirky romance and my heart would melt if someone went to such incredible lengths to find out what happened to me. I fall in love with her every time I watch the movie.

Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams)

Amy Adams is another actress who plays characters that are easy to like or even love.

I chose Rose because of her vulnerability. In Sunshine Cleaning, she's made some bad choices in the past, but we can all see that she has so much to offer the right man. She's intelligent and tough, and has the help of her father and sister as she tries to raise her little boy. I always find myself wanting to rescue Rose.

Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence)

By her own admission, Tiffany used to be a slut. She's also widowed and a little bit crazy. I love her in Silver Linings Playbook because the movie comes alive the moment she enters the story. She takes on a man who has mental issues of his own and tries to make their relationship work. 

I love Tiffany for her honesty and willingness to own up to her mistakes. Communication is vital in any relationship, and if you're honest with Tiffany, you might get something wonderful in return.

Valentine Dussaut (Irene Jacob)

I said that I wouldn't rank the characters from 1 to 10, but I have to admit that Valentine is my dream movie character. She's beautiful, innocent, trusting, and radiates goodness with every part of her being. 

In Three Colors Red, Valentine shows compassion for an apparently unlovable old man and gives him a reason to live. Irene Jacob is so convincing in the role, and as Veronique in The Double Life of Veronique. I wonder if she posesses some or all of those qualities in reality?

So, there you have it. You'll notice that some of the more obvious names are not among the 10 I chose. I am not at all attracted to women such as Angelina Jolie, who actually makes my skin crawl most of the time. Life would probably be a lot easier if I thought like most other people, but it's not who I am.

What would your own list look like? What type of characters are attractive to you? Does the presence of such people make or break a movie for you? What movies were ruined for you because the wrong casting choice was made?


  1. This could be part of your project and would be of special interest to women readers. As usual, I am behind on my knowledge of actors and actresses. Noted that some of these women have what one might define as 'European' appeal, which many men appreciate. There is the French American actress Julie (?), for instance, who is particularly well known in her movies with Ethan Hawke such as: 'Before Midnight' for example. As to why you might find Angelina Jolie makes your skin crawl at times, this viewer might have one possible answer for you. In the meantime, Jennifer Lawrence is going to continue to go far. As usual, this blog is well written and concise. Looking forward to reading your next post. In the meantime, confirming that you will be forever 20 :)

    1. I have only seen Julie Delpy in Three Colors White. I'm waiting for the whole trilogy to be available on Blu-ray before I watch Before Midnight. She doesn't fit enough of my criteria in White to be on the list, although I deeply appreciate Juliette Binoche from Three Colors Blue and many other films (she almost made the 10). I am always self-analyzing to find out as much about myself as possible. Some of the answers are surprising to me.

  2. It is Julie Delpy that I was referring to, and you are correct. There is a rather fine movie made years ago 'Voyager' with Sam Sheppard (?) when she must have been in her 20s and if you get around to it at some point, would be interested in having your views on the above. Juliette Binoche is wonderful and particularly enjoyed her performance with Daniel Day-Lewis in 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being', also years ago. As for self-analysis, perhaps I am weary of the topic when it comes to myself, but I am far more inclined today to question my motives and particularly attune to how difficult communication can be among us. It is important to remember how sensitive many of us can be. There is also 'The Art of Listening', which I am trying to learn as time goes on, and which I find rewarding unless the individual is in what is known as 'the loop', and continually going around in circles. On a note of humor but truth, this is when you can leave the room and place a potted plant as a substitute in front of the conversationalist :-)

    1. I am always stressing the importance of communication in any type of relationship. Whether it is professional, friendship, romantic, or on a national scale, it's vital. I have become a good listener over the years, but it's not easy. I enjoy being a part of conversations that go deeper than just trivial matters.

  3. Oddly enough the correspondence that I enjoy receiving the most is from the quietest of all my friends. A sociologist in London, she communicates today with few people, her messages are short and although we discuss the weather and other mundane topics, for some reason she appears to be saying 'the most'. On a side note, she enjoys going to the movies. In the meantime, pleased to confirm that you are the newest member of The Algonquin Round Table Club in New York. Welcome! :)

    1. Hehe, that's quite an honor. There are a few people that I share important stuff with, but it can be exhausting and the list will probably remain short.