From "Candleshoe" to "Silence of the Lambs" Jodie Foster has been a part of my life as long as I can remember.
She started out as Disney’s tom boy princess and ended up as one of cinema’s most intelligent, powerful and private actresses (the privacy part is something I wish more of todays celebrities would practice). And now according to Variety’s review of “The Brave One” it appears she is back with a vengence (pun intended) and ready to remind us all why she is one of the few actresses who has two lead Oscars.
(we shall compare her more to the Luise Rainer, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Vivien Leigh, Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor, Glenda Jackson, Jane Fonda, Sally Field side of the pond and not the Hillary Swank side. Her name really does tarnish this wonderful list)
Jodie unapologetically plays tough, smart women. She could challenge herself and play weak, but that would defeat the point of who she is, and the feminist ideals she so obviously stands for.
Sure she won her first Oscar playing a rape victim, and her first nomination playing a teenage prostitute (some of Oscars favorite roles for women), but how many actresses out there get nominated playing a cop/FBI agent?
“The Silence of the Lambs” was a changing point for women in film. Clarice Starlings only Achilles heel was being haunted by the death of her father, but even that was over shadowed by her bravery and drive.
The only other recent role up to that point that played against typical female stereotypes was that of Sigourney Weavers ‘Lieutenant Ellen Ripley’.
Neither of these women were victims, and the wonderful thing about the films they were in, is that the audience never question the fact a woman is in this role. (only Dr Chilton does in “Silence” and he is technically one of the films villain).
This is what good acting can do.
I doubt “The Brave One’s” Erica Bain will ever overshadow Clarice Starling for me ( that I feel will always be the Foster performance that wins my eternal love), what it will do is remind us all what a very special and unique actress Jodie Foster is.