Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sigourney Weaver in Aliens

First, I'd like to say how honored I am to celebrate the first anniversary of my Best Actress reviews with an analysis of a performance that is as iconic as...

Sigourney Weaver in Aliens for which she received her very first Oscar nomination in the Best Actress category. First, I am so shocked. Really, I wouldn't expect such a performance to be nominated in the Best Actress category. I mean, iconic action performances have never been among the favorites of the Academy. However, the Academy made one of the best decision when they nominated Sigourney for Aliens, a smash hit sci-fi. I guess the fact that the movie was such a great success (it received six other noms and won two of them). I think Sigourney may have got close to the actual win despite the fact that all the other performances were more Oscar-friendly. I feel she was at least third in the voting.

Aliens used to be my favorite movie ever, when I was about 11-12 years old. I was so crazy about it and I was crazy in love with Sigourney herself. I could go on telling funny and a bit cheesy stories about this movie (and the first Alien) but I guess I don't need to. For me, Aliens meant cinema. Everything that's great about it, emotion, action, scariness and above all, iconic characters. James Cameron's stories are the most unoriginal ones one could ever imagine and yet they work so fabulously on the screen. He just knows how to entertain people. I guess he once opened Pandora's box and found the secret of entertainment.

Sigourney Weaver, as I said, is someone I was once really in love with. However, I haven't seen enough of her works, I think. There are so many of her movies that I'd very much love to see and yet I don't get round to watching them. Too bad, as I think that she's one of the greatest actresses that we have today and I'm really hoping for a great comeback for her on the big screen. She just deserves way more than You Again. And she should really get an Oscar once. I thought that she would get it for Prayers for Bobby (that seemed so baity) and when I realised it was made for TV, I was in shock. So, she's in need of a great role, plus I'm really looking forward to the time when she'll play Miss Marple (as she wishes to)

If you search for lists about the most iconic characters of all time, you'll most definitely see Ellen Ripley among them (very often in the Top 10). By creating her, Sigourney Weaver also created a brand new character for the screen, the tough but sensitive heroine who's willing to fight and never gives up. I couldn't imagine any of the movies like Kill Bill had it not been for Sigourney Weaver's performance in the Alien movies even if the moviemakers don't think about Ripley that much. In short, Sigourney Weaver made history.

The very essence of Ellen Ripley (in my opinion) is best displayed in Aliens. In Alien, she's a scream queen and she may not even be the lead there. Ripley becomes a more layered and important character in Aliens. The development that she goes through is quite extraordinary for a sci-fi and Sigourney plays all the changes just brilliantly. At the beginning of the movie, Ripley is a hardened, bitter woman suffering from her own demons. All her fears are exceptionally portrayed. We really believe that this woman is suffering from all the events of her past and she's quite disturbing in some of the scenes. However, as I said, Ripley is a person who's willing to fight and she decides to fight her own fears by going back to the place where all the torture began.

Once she gets back to LV-426, Ripley becomes even more determined to act and destroy the aliens. However, a radical change comes in Ripley's life when she gets to know a little girl, Newt who wakes up Ripley's motherly instincts. And Sigourney is surprisingly touching in her scenes with Newt. She shows Ripley's love for Newt in a really moving way. In the director's cut this aspect of the movie becomes even more significant and understandable but I try not to think about that as she was nominated for the theatrical cut. All in all, Ellen's almost mother-daughter relationship with Newt is the most beautiful thing about this otherwise ugly and gruesome movie.

Moreover, I loved how feminine Sigourney made Ripley. On the outside, she has short-haired and talled. She's seems to be a really tough person. Inside, however, she's a really emotional, gentle human being full of love and the dedication. She's a real woman and Sigourney lets us see Ripley's real beauty which is inside the sexy looks. Ripley's beauty comes from her love and care and Sigourney shows Ripley's inner beauty just like a flower blossoms. It's just wonderful to see her in all of the scenes and you really cannot take your eyes off the screen. Sigourney's presence is really magnetic and I always wanted to see her and her. Very much like Michelle Pfeiffer (the other Oscarless huge star of the 80s) in The Fabulous Baker Boys, when Sigourney is not on the screen, we don't mind as her presence is so luminous that it lasts until she comes back. And unlike Kate Winslet in Titanic, Sigourney is never overshadowed by the stunning visual effects and the great directing of James Cameron.

To sum up things, Sigourney Weaver is astonishing in Aliens giving not only the best action performances but also one of the most memorable performances evers. She's a real treat not only for Oscar maniacs but also for film buffs and everyone else on this planet. Sigourney created a beautiful, wonderful, strong character that is for the ages. It's really fantastic work by a brilliant actress, in a brilliant movie.

What do you think, dear readers?

9 comments:

Sage Slowdive said...

She's never impressed me in this role, maybe one day It'll change...

dinasztie said...

Hopefully... :)

mrripley said...

How can she not impress you,think of another actress from that era and say with 100 per cent certainty she could do what siggy did - sissy,meryl,jane,kathleen,cher,jessica,marsha name one!!!

Derek Bowman said...

Love this performance and applaud the off-beat nomination for the Academy. This is a perfect example of why I love Sigourney, and may just be her best performance ever.

She has never really played the romantic interest or done frothy romantic comedies, and always plays the most interesting, strong women. She doesn't have same type of beauty as most actresses, but still manages to make her innate hardness attractive and powerful. Amazing.

dinasztie said...

Derek: Exactly

mrripley: I agree with you totally but people have the right not to be impressed. :)

hey deanie said...

LOVE her in this role. When she did screentests for the original Alien, everyone apparently said Sigourney reminded them of a young Jane Fonda – I think that's probably why I love Siggy so much.

Louis Morgan said...

This performance certainly is one Oscar nominated performance that there really is not any other like it, a horror, action and science fiction performance quite unique for the Oscars. I imagine she will win.

joe burns said...

She'll probably win!

vinnieh said...

Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley= Iconic