Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Filmography: Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver is kind of a big deal. Besides being an celebrated dramatic and comedic actress, she's also an iconic presence in the science fiction community and an important part of cinema history.
Weaver attended the Yale School of Drama and in the past 30 years has built one of the most diverse and successful resumes in the business. She shines in every genre - drama, comedy, sci-fi, family films, voice roles - and has also found success in stage and televison parts.
Though her career has slowed considerably in the past five years or so - mostly cameos and voice work lately - Sigourney is still an exciting part of any cast and continues to prove there's a place for women in sci-fi.
1979 Alien (Ellen Ripley)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Weaver's first film role was Ellen Ripley, a crew member aboard the Nostromo, in Ridley Scott's science fiction classic, Alien. Her role is considered a milestone in challenging gender stereotypes in cinema. Ripley is a woman in control and a force against the corrupt Company and the otherworldly menace after her crew. She is not defined by the men around her or her relationships to them. Weaver's fearless stoicism as Ripley made her as impressive and imposing as any man.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1981 Eyewitness (Tony Sokolow)
1982 The Year of Living Dangerously (Jilly Bryant)
1983 Deal of the Century (Catherine DeVoto)
1984 Ghostbusters (Dana Barrett)
1985 Une Femme ou Deux (Jessica Fitzgerald)
1986 Half Moon Street (Dr. Lauren Slaughter), Aliens (Ellen Ripley)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In her second outing as intergalactic badass Ellen Ripley, Sigourney Weaver accomplished what had long been seen as impossible: a Best Actress nomination for a performance in a science fiction film. James Cameron's spectacular follow-up to Alien is one of the greatest sequels ever made, and it owes much to Weaver's solid and sympathetic turn as the intelligently intense Ripley, fighting the mother of all aliens while discovering the mother inside herself.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1988 Gorillas in the Mist (Dian Fossey), Working Girl (Katharine Parker)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Weaver scored double in 1988, with two Oscar nominations for her work in Gorillas in the Mist and Working Girl. The former is a biographical film about zoologist Dian Fossey, who studied primates in the mountain forests for eighteen years. She gives a strong yet tender performance and has beautiful moments with the animals in the film. In Working Girl, she tackles a completely different character, Melanie Griffith's bitch of a boss. She plays it perfect and subtle, and becomes the kind of villainous wretch we love to hate. We couldn't root for the main character without positively despising her antagonist, and Weaver lets us do that, but also gives us plenty of laughs along the way.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1989 Ghostbusters II (Dana Barrett)
1992 Alien 3 (Ellen Ripley), 1492: Conquest of Paradise (Queen Isabella)
1993 Dave (Ellen Mitchell)
1994 Death and the Maiden (Pauline Escobar)
1995 Copycat (Helen Hudson), Jeffrey (Debra Moorhouse)
1997 The Ice Storm (Janey Carver), Alien Resurrection (Ellen Ripley Clone)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In Ang Lee's underrated ensemble film The Ice Storm, Weaver gives one of several brilliant performances as Janey Carver, an adulterous housewife in 1970s Connecticut. A smartly satirical look at sexual experimentation and suburban secrets in upper-middle class America, The Ice Storm is a must-see and one of Weaver's most memorable films.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1999 A Map of the World (Alice Goodwin), Galaxy Quest (Gwen DeMarco/Lieutenant Tawny Madison)
2000 Company Man (Daisy Quimp)
2001 Heartbreakers (Max Conners/Angela)
2002 Tadpole (Eve Grubman), The Guys (Joan)
2003 Holes (Warden Walker)
2004 Imaginary Heroes (Sandy Travis), The Village (Alice Hunt)
2006 Snow Cake (Linda Freeman), The TV Set (Lenny), Infamous (Babe Paley)
2007 The Girl in the Park (Julia Sandburg)
2008 Vantage Point (Rex Brooks), Be Kind Rewind (Ms. Lawson), Baby Mama (Chaffee Bicknell), WALL-E (Computer, voice)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In one of the coolest cameos ever, Weaver voiced the Axiom's computer in Andrew Stanton's animated masterpiece WALL-E. An obvious reference to her legendary sci-fi queen status, and "Mother", the computer aboard the Nostromo in Alien.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2009 Avatar (Dr. Grace Augustine)


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