The 8 best films by Oscar winner Julianne Moore

Daniel Sarath
Published: March 4, 2015

Julianne Moore is the biggest name in Hollywood at the moment. With an Oscar to her name for Still Alice and the film itself reaching UK cinemas this weekend, there may not currently be a more powerful actress in the industry.

Moore is not a new name in Hollywood, of course. She is an actress who has been slowly building a reputation as one of the most diverse and versatile talents for over 20 years, working with directors from the Academy Award winning Coen Brothers to the fashion designer turned filmmaker Tom Ford.

To celebrate her new movie, and a career as illustrious as any female in Hollywood, here are eight of her best films:

8. Boogie Nights

One of her big breakout roles, Julianne Moore made a name for herself in Boogie Nights as the film's fictional adult movie star Amber Waves. She was just one of many characters in this kaleidoscopic romp through the '70s and '80s pornography industry but she frequently steals the spotlight from co-stars Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly and even a young Philip Seymour Hoffman.

7. The Big Lebowski

Few characters make an on-screen arrival quite like Julianne Moore does in The Big Lebowski - propelled through a warehouse on a zip wire, splashing paint from a brush onto a large canvas. Her weird and wonderful role in the Coen Brothers' stoner comedy, inspired by Carolee Schneemann and Yoko Ono, is something quite amazing to behold.

6. What Maisie Knew

One of the most underrated films of Julianne Moore's career is What Maisie Knew. Told from the perspective of a young child caught in the middle of her parents' divorce, Moore plays a negligent mother who spends more time with her rock star friends than her daughter.

5. Magnolia

Julianne Moore recently told journalists that her toughest role was the morphine addicted wife of a former TV producer in Magnolia. It's no surprise. Her performance, her second collaboration with director Paul Thomas Anderson after the aforementioned Boogie Nights, was a very emotionally demanding one in this 3-hour intersecting epic. It pays off though as she ignites every scene she's in.


4. A Single Man

Colin Firth is the real star of A Single Man. In fact, the Oscars' decision to award him for The King's Speech is seen by some as an attempt to remedy their mistake of overlooking this performance. However, while Moore only really appears in one scene (albeit a rather long one) in fashion designer Tom Ford's directorial debut, her contribution is outstanding. She is excellent as Firth's best friend with a long-time crush.

3. Still Alice

Julianne Moore just won the Academy Award for her role in Still Alice. The award not only recognises her outstanding work for the last 25 years, but also validates her heartbreaking work in this emotional drama. She gives an overwhelming performance that highlights the painful truths about living with Alzheimer's disease.

2. The Kids Are All Right

Moore stars alongside Annette Bening in the fantastic familial drama The Kids Are All Right. She plays one half of a middle-aged lesbian couple whose son and daughter become curious about their biological father - the sperm donor who allowed them to conceive. Her and Bening (who won a Golden Globe for her performance) don't play caricatures of a lesbian family but make them honest and realistic.

1. Far From Heaven

Julianne Moore's best work, however, is in Far From Heaven. A kind-of-but-not-really remake of the 1950s melodrama All That Heaven Allows, she plays a housewife in white suburban America who falls for her black gardener and becomes the subject of scorn in her prejudiced community. Her work in the film is stunning; like something an actress from Hollwood's golden era would have done.