I have much admiration and appreciation for all that Cameron Crowe has done with movies over the years. That is, up until ELIZABETHTOWN. So many great people, so much hope, and... pffft. I remember hating that film and it giving me such a bitter taste in my mouth that I haven't felt the desire to rewatch it to test for any positive asides it might have had that I missed the first time. So I'm a little surprised that the first movie Crowe's directed in the last 6 years, WE BOUGHT A ZOO is getting the full-on Xmas release treatment. This used to be the little indie dude who could. The one thing I'll never begrudge him? He's brought to screen so many positive, interesting and complex female characters over the years that his mark on cinema is indelible for me. These are 3 of my favorites.
Might have been easier for me to go with Lili Taylor as my favorite female Crowe character of all time, with one of the most memorable quotes in any movie of any time ("The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don't be a guy.") but really, SAY ANYTHING was the movie which made Ione Skye into a golden goddess, this chick with the too-gummy smile and the awkward body posturing. (Granted, this (nsfw) is what she looks like sans top in b&w with Anthony Kiedis) was Diane Court, that symbol of perfection, not just because of her beauty but, as always pointed out in the movie, because of her brains.
When ALMOST FAMOUS came out, the most I knew about Kate Hudson was that she was Goldie Hawn's daughter and that I considered her to be the only great bright spot in the movie 200 CIGARETTES. I recall thinking that she would go on to be great and as Penny Lane, she proved she could be. No shame in being a groupie if you did it with heart, one that could withstand a ton but still have a pinpoint of weakness in which it took to be broken. I have never seen Hudson shine as brightly as she did here. It's almost more of a pity that her personal life and proclivity for rom-coms have formed more of the public opinion of her than the talent she started out displaying with Crowe at the helm.
Kick, scream and argue with me if you must, but Renee Zellweger was my indie darling for a number of years before she did the big budget cross over as Dorothy Boyd in JERRY MAGUIRE. It was having that hunger still rumbling that made her portrayal of a hopeful, idealistic single mom so fantastic. Her pouting lips were a new thing, not yet the signature trout-pout that she went on to display on every red carpet she hit post 1996. Dorothy was not afraid to love. More important, she did the harder thing... she was not afraid to forgive.
Which Cameron Crowe darling is your favorite?