How the sweet merciful christ am I the first to come up with a thread for Madonna? A woman whose image has about the same recognition level as that of Jesus and Homer Simpson. Anyway.
Born on August 16th 1958 (dear God she's 48 next week) Madonna has been famous since the 1983 release of her eponymous debut album but it was her second; Like A Virgin which, the following year, made her one of the most famous women on the planet. For 22 years she has sustained that status and hit only the occasional bump in the road (the literal overexposure of the Sex book turned many off and, sadly, led to the excellent Erotica being overlooked). Last year, her twenty second in the business, she released Confessions On A Dancefloor; her twelth album not counting compilations which was recieved as a return to form and was her best since Ray of Light in 1998.
Movies, however, have been more of a challenge than music. Madonna actually made her film debut before her musical debut in Stephen Jon Lewicki's A Certain Sacrifice. ACS is terrible, it would be a contender for worst film of all time if, that is, one could really consider it a film. Shot on Super 8 it's toatally incoherent and horribly pretentious. Madonna's performance is the best thing in it as at least she has some star quality.
Desperately Seeking Susan allowed her to, largely, play herself and was a hit. What came afterwards was a series of disasters which made her acting forays a prennial critical punching bag.
Occasionally though she produces the goods. A decent turn in A League of Their Own is often forgotten Evita led to serious talk of an Oscar nomination and she's also fine in Dick Tracy playing a Marylin Monroe inspired gangsters mol. But there's a litany of turkeys as well. Most notable (that I've seen) are feeble Basic Instinct knock off Body of Evidence and the singularly painful Swept Away.
She can be annoying (as in pretentious documentary I'm Going To Tell You A Secret) and she's fallen horribly on her face as an actress many a time but I'm still a fan. Her music is still her main focus and it still sounds great. Few, if any, have survived as long at the top of the pop music tree and that alone has to be admired.
It's a YAY from me, though that's mainly to do with the music.