Friday, May 13, 2011

Top 5 Films Featuring Rose Byrne






This list is in no particular order. These are just some of my favorite films that Rose Byrne, the actress and one of the stars of the new film Bridesmaids has been in over the years that I enjoyed either based solely on her performance or it was just a generally well made and enjoyable film that she happened to part of in a supporting capacity.

I absolutely adore Rose Byrne and have ever since I saw her in the lack luster mystery/thriller Wicker Park. Her career up to this point has been a slightly bumpy and unpredictable one with a number of her early films originating from Australia (her home country) that have gone largely unnoticed over her in America, taking the lead in a television drama for a few years that didn't work out and while doing that she has played in a wide variety of genre films ranging from hardcore Science-Fiction to straight up horror and finally landing firmly in the world of comedy. If nothing else that is proof positive of her undeniable talent that she is able to tackle so many different genres one after the other like that. At this time I am unsure what the future holds for Rose as it seems, with 3 major film releases this year alone, that she may indeed finally garner the respect she deserves and we might get some films featuring her exclusively as the star (most or all her films/tv shows have been ensemble fare). While I am almost positive that Bridesmaids would make it on this list I have yet to see it so these are my CURRENT favorite films featuring the lovely and talented Ms. Rose Byrne.

1.




The best Science-Fiction film to come out of the past decade...in my humble opinion. Grossly underrated and forgotten, director Danny Boyle made something extraordinary with Sunshine. He combined his filmmaking talents with the knowledge of actual Physicists to come up with the science behind the film in a way that makes the events that take place (a crew of astronauts must "jumpstart" the sun) seem plausible. Of course the entire cast is fantastic from Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans and Michelle Yeoh but once again my eye was constantly drawn to Rose as the mission pilot who is scared, but not afraid, of not making it home. Everyone had their part to play but it was Rose that was saddled with the difficult job of representing what little humanity was left in the crew after all the obstacles they had encountered. Her expressions break my heart every time during the scene where they are sitting around the table deciding who is going to die to save the others. A visually stunning film with one of the best soundtracks of all time (the music has been used countless times since in a variety of films and commercials) that will only continue to get better as time goes on. Exceptional filmmaking at its best.

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2.




I was completely caught off guard here with finding out that Rose had not only had the ability to be funny but to be f@#king hilarious! I avoided this film upon its release due to the two main stars and I have regretted it ever since. Rose's participation in the film as Jackie Q, a pop star in the vain of Lady Gaga, was almost like a secret. It wasn't until it was long gone from the cinemas when I discovered she was even in it and that is around the time I truly fell in love with her. Before I saw the actual movie I had taken a look at some of the mock music videos she made for it and I was in utter disbelief that this was the same woman I had seen battling zombies and piloting space ships just a couple years prior. Her presence in the actual film was very much a supporting role but..., just as the next film below, it was a pivotal one. And while she never really got to go wild in the film she still did an amazing job as the born again former drugged out pop star with a kid and a whole lot of baggage. I will always have a special place in my heart for her with this film if for no other reason than this music video right here...


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3.




I know this film garners a lot of hate but I don't care because I think it was one of the great epics of the past decade that was overlooked for so many different reasons. Sure it came at a time when audiences were tired of swooping shots showing an armada of ships at sea, sure it came at a time post Lord of the Rings when audiences were tired of mass scale battles and sure it lacked the one thing that all films dealing with Greek mythology needs...the Gods themselves overseeing everything. But this long after its release it still holds up as a fantastic warrior's tale. The smaller scale battles are what won me over (especially the mono y mono fight between Hector and Achilles) and they are still as impressive today as they were then. Oh and yes, Rose was in it too. I can see some people calling bullshit on this one but she was in the entire film from beginning to end as Briseis, the follower of Apollo and cousin to Troy's defender and heir to the throne Hector. Most of her screen time with Brad "The Pimp" Pitt as the immortal warrior Achilles had her cowering in a corner and crying but to this day, even though I didn't know of her at the time, I was enchanted by her every time she appeared on screen.

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4.




If there were one film on here that would be switched out for Bridesmaids, I think this would be the one. I liked this one quite a lot though due to it's throwback nature to how horror films used to be. There were some truly scary moments to be found and a premise that was both unique and well executed. As for Rose, well she was unfortunately regulated to the role of the mother who is being driven bat-shit insane by the hauntings while her husband just tries to ignore everything. Her performance is without question spot on and she can definitely freak out with the best of them but if there were one thing that Insidious proved to me it is that I much prefer to see Rose in other genres besides horror. She just doesn't lend herself very well to being terrorized (see her unusually horrible performance in Knowing) and with her recent string of comedies as well as her short lived television show Damages I am more sure now than ever that she should just leave the horror films to other less talented actresses. If ever there was an actress that was much better than the material they were given to work with this is it. 

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5.




OK, I know I just finished stating that she should stay away from horror movies but let me just add an asterisk after that. She should stay away from them UNLESS they are from the mind of such an amazing visionary as Danny Boyle. Her first foray into the world of Mr. Boyle (unlike Sunshine, he didn't direct this sequel though) finds her in a role that actually fit her physicality and vulnerability perfectly. This film came out just shortly after I had taken notice of her and I was hungry to see her in more films. Being a fan of the first film, 28 Days Later, and seeing her face on the poster (that is her likeness used on the poster by the way) I was super giddy for this one and thankfully it did not disappoint. In many ways this sequel was far superior to the original but like any good horror film it is the cast and characters that make it all work. And Rose was not alone as I was also introduced to a then unknown actor by the name of Jeremy Renner doing his military thing well before he went to The Hurt Locker. While watching this film from beginning to end is not something I like to re-experience often (I find Rose's ultimate fate to be a little hard to watch...I know, I got attached to her what can I say?) it is still another notch on her filmography of great movies.

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