For most of human history, women have been kept in two distinct boxes: the innocent and the schemer. It is only in recent years that we have been “allowed” to become fully formed human beings, both IRL and in fiction.
Mrs. Chevely (Julianne Moore) claims to have evidence of a potential scandal that would figurately kill Sir Robert socially and politically. He turns to his friend Lord Goring (Rupert Everett) for help. Goring is unmarried and has a certain reputation, which does not please his father. He agrees to help, knowing full well what Mrs. Chevely is capable of.
The upside of this film is that the cast is at the top of their game. The downside is that even with Wilde’s unique writing and comedic style, it cannot overcome the sexist drawing of the main female characters. Granted, it was conceived of and premiered in the late 19th century. However, there are other male writers of that period that gave the women they created more room to breathe and not be constricted to “traditional” female roles.
I was also almost immediately bored, which was another reason I turned it off.
In 1997, Driver burst into Hollywood in the film Good Will Hunting. Academically speaking, Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is a genius. He works as a janitor at MIT and anonymously solves the math problems left on the black boards overnight. But Will has no direction in life and often finds himself in trouble with the law. When his anonymity is discovered by Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard), Will is offered a deal that could change his life.
Under the watch of Prof Lambeau, Will will not be facing jail time if he studies mathematics with the professor and spends time with a therapist. After several therapists flounder, Will finds himself in the office of Sean Maguire (the late Robin Williams). He also finds himself attached to Skylar (Minnie Driver), a Harvard student with ambitions to attend medical school at Stanford. Can Will sustain this new path in life or will he return to his old friend Chuckie (Ben Affleck) and the way he used to live?
This movie won all of the accolades and attention that it did for a reason. It is a brilliant film and just reminds the audience that sometimes we have to take risks, especially when new paths open up in life.
Mona (Minnie Driver) has only one goal in life: to win Miss American Miss. Mona’s home life is a roller coaster. The only steadying influence is her best friend, Ruby (Joey Lauren Adams). But there is one hitch to Mona’s dreams: her child. Contestants in the pageant cannot have children. Ruby agrees to pretend to be Vanessa’s (Hallie Eisenberg) mother so Mona can compete. When a reporter starts snooping around, Mona finds that the pressure to keep the facade up is building.
Can she keep the facade up or will the truth come out, ending her dreams forever?
This movie has an element of camp to it. But then again, the entire world is that beauty pageants is campy. While this movie does not require a lot of brain cells, it is still a fun movie.
The same year, Driver stepped into romantic comedy genre with Return To Me.
Bob (David Duchovny) lost his wife in a car accident. After his wife’s death, her organs were anonymously donated. One of the recipients was Grace (Minnie Driver), a woman who has had heart problems since she was a teenager. A year after his wife’s death, Bob receives an anonymous letter from Grace, thanking him for his wife’s heart. At the same time, Bob goes on a blind date at the encouragement of his friends. The restaurant they go is owned by Grace’s grandfather (the late Carroll O’Connor). Grace is their waitress that night.
Bob asks Grace on a date and she agrees. Their relationship start to move along, but she is not ready to tell him about the surgery and the heart that is not naturally hers. Will she tell him and what will the consequences be of the reveal?
As rom-coms go, this movie is starting to slide into the same old formulaic story. But it is the performances of the lead actors that keep the movie going.
Wayne Malloy (Eddie Izzard) and his wife Dahlia (Minnie Driver) are a couple of con artists. Dahlia has just been released from jail. After a car accident, Wayne has had an epiphany. He wants to live a normal life with his wife and children. Moving to suburbia, he thinks that changing the family name will allow them to move on from their past. But the past is not too far behind.
This show aired on F/X. It was a quirky, funny family drama set in the American South. Created by a Russian Jew and led on screen by two British actors, this show was a standout for me. It’s just too bad that the people who run F/X did not agree.
Dirty Sexy Money
The Darlings are the wealthiest family in New York City. Led by Patrick “Tripp” Darling III (Donald Sutherland), this family is powerful. But with power and money, comes secrets. Nick George (Peter Krause) is the son the late lawyer of the Darlings. Nick spent more time with the Darlings than he did with his own family because his father was as the beck and call of his employers. A generation later, Nick has taken over his father’s position. Nick tries to keep a reasonable work/life balance, but the more he tries to keep his professional and private life separate, the more they intertwine.
Dirty Sexy Money definitely took a page from the nighttime soaps of the 1980’s. With New York City as a backdrop and the core conflict raging inside of Nick, it was an entertaining television show. It’s just too bad that it only had two seasons.
Sometimes, in life, it is the challenges the define us.
In the 1998 movie, The Governess, Rosina da Silva (Minnie Driver) is the daughter of a privileged Sephardi Jewish family. When her father dies, she takes a position as a governess in the home of Charles Cavendish (Tom Wilkinson). Mr. Cavendish’s wife (Harriet Walter) takes little notice of her husband’s work. Rosina, under the name of Mary Blackchurch, has an affair with her employer while his teenage son, Henry (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) also starts to look differently at his sister’s governess.
I enjoy this movie. It is quiet, simple British indie drama was a top notch cast and a story that draws the audience in.