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« Interview: John Carney "Begin Again"| Main| Foreign Oscar Watch: Iran's "Today"»
Tuesday
Nov 18 2014

P.T. Pinups


I'mnot a fan ofInherent Vicemuch but it will inspire lots of fun fan art and/or official stuff...like this banner poster starring Katherine Waterston as "Shasta Fay".(Her hair is filled withsecretscharacters.)

I wish P.T.still wrote memorable female characters (sigh) even the kind of vacant bimbos like Rollergirl used to be awesome.WithThere Will Be Bloodhe basically left them behind altogether.Inherent Vicehas a dozen or so female roles and only two of them are halfway interesting (Yay,Jena Malone and Jeannie Berlin cameos).

Uh-oh...I feel a list attack coming on.It can't be stopped

Female Characters in P.T.Anderson films from Most Fascinating to Least
(not comprehensive but the major ones)

  1. Amber Waves (Boogie Nights)
  2. Linda Partridge (Magnolia)
  3. Rollergirl (Boogie Nights)
  4. Gwenovier (Magnolia)
  5. Lena Leonard (Punch-Drunk Love)
  6. Peggy Dodd (The Master)
  7. Clementine (Hard Eight)
  8. Jessie St Vincent (Boogie Nights)
  9. Becky Barnett (Boogie Nights)
  10. Elizabeth Egan (Punch-Drunk Love)
  11. Claudia Wilson Gator (Magnolia)
  12. Hope Harlingen (Inherent Vice -cameo)
  13. Aunt Reet (Inherent Vice - cameo)
  14. Rose Gator (Magnolia)
  15. Xandra (Inherent Vice)
  16. Helen Sullivan (The Master)
  17. Petunia Leeway (Inherent Vice)
  18. Penny (Inherent Vice)
  19. Japonica Fenway (Inherent Vice)
  20. Sortilege (Inherent Vice - great voice that Joanna Newsom has,though)
  21. Shasta Fay Hepworth (Inherent Vice)

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Reader Comments (21)

I so hope I disagree with you about Inherent Vice.I treasure that book too much to believe the adaptation isn't as great.

November 18,2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

I won't see Inherent Vice until tomorrow night but it's quite startling to see that film's female characters all clustered at the bottom of this list!I didn't even know Jeannie Berlin was in it until now though,so that's very exciting.

I would have Claudia Wilson Gator much,much higher in the list - she absolutely breaks my heart every time she's on screen in Magnolia,and her relationship with Jim is still my favourite thing in any PTA film - but nobody beats Amber.

November 18,2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

I haven't seen Inherent Vice,but oo-wee is that a magnificent top ten.Queen Julianne in her rightful places at 1-2,bless.

November 18,2014 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

Amber,Becky,Rollergirl,Little Bill's Wife and Todd Parker (he was such a big ole girl in that film).......all from Boogie Nights.Don't really care about any of the rest.

November 18,2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Does Inherent Vice pass the Bechdel?

November 18,2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

I've always admired Linda Partridge's loose morals.

November 18,2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

The only female character PTA has written that could be considered close to a lead is Claudia Gator.That combined with Melora Walters's performance has to warrant a # 1 spot for me.She is certainly the most well rounded of them,with a fuller backstory.Both the character and the performer are unapologetically unlikeable in her display of pain and her abrasiveness.I believe this performance should be celebrated as one of the major dramatic acting accomplishments of the nineties.Right up there with Jason Leigh's Georgia,Binoche in Blue,Watson in Breaking the Waves,Miontenegro in Central Station and Roth in All about my Mother,to name a few.I'm starting to feel it will never get its due for some reason.I think it's uncomfortable for people to see women THAT broken.
Number 2 is Amber Waves.Such a wonderfully written and performed creation.

Everything else is either too small or not tridimensional enough on paper,with great actresses making the most of it,especially Melinda Dillon and April Grace in Magnolia and Watson in Punch-Drunk Love.

November 18,2014 | Unregistered CommenterMr.Goodbar

I need some explaining how Linda Partridge and Rollergirl are more fascinating characters than Claudia Gator.The eleventh spot is insulting.

November 18,2014 | Unregistered Commentertherealmike

I would have claudia much higher too.

November 18,2014 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

Amir-- INHERENT VICE will be comprehensible to you because you read the book.For the uninitiated masses the movie will be very problematic on first viewing.

November 18,2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Amir: I think the book is pretty good,but weird that this is the first Pynchon to receive adaptation.Even The Crying of Lot 49 is better,and I think I'd have vastly preferred PT Anderson do that one.

November 18,2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Ya-a-as!on Gwenovier,the reporter,in Magnolia.It makes me so sad that Hollywood never capitalized on April Grace -- her stock roles include "Commercial Director"and "Immigration Services Officer"-- although I was happy to see her pop up on Sons of Anarchy recently.

I'd argue that Claudia Wilson Gator (Magnolia) is far more fascinating than Jessie St.James (Boogie Nights),though good on Melora Waters for being memorable in both.(P.S.Remember her in Roseanne?)

November 18,2014 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

I thought I was the only one to be completely mesmerized by April Grace's work in Magnolia.It is a riveting performance in a role that could have been a second violin to Cruise's show!

November 18,2014 | Unregistered Commenterdomgogo

lolll you REALLY dislike Inherent Vice.This list.

November 18,2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid S.

I'm on team Claudia,for sure.I'd place her in the top 5.

November 18,2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid S.

I'd say the only reason Cruise was able to deliver that performance in the interview was because he was trying to match April Grace's brilliance in it.

November 18,2014 | Unregistered CommenterMr.Goodbar

Waterston's legs remind me of Meryl Streep getting spray painted in Bruce Willis' lab in Death Becomes Her.

November 19,2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoey

domgogo & mrgoodbar -- i was seriously obsessed with april grace after that scene and expected big things (sigh).Hollywood is always so slow with the black actresses.

everyone --- all this love for Claudia convinced me i should really watch Magnolia again.I haven't seen it in years and when i think of it my brain always goes to Linda Patridge first second and third and then to that april grace/ frank tj mackey showdown.

November 19,2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Do you listen to Joanna Newsom music Nathaniel?Just saying,if you dig her squeaky talking,her squeaky singing is LIFE-CHANGING.

November 19,2014 | Unregistered CommenterTB

I forget about Claudia,too!Because I'm unreasonably (reasonably?) obsessed with (soon to be) Academy Award Winner Julianne Moore and there's usually no room left to think about anyone or anything else.But these comments jogged my memory.Melora Walters was rad.

November 19,2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid S.

i was seriously obsessed with april grace after that scene and expected big things (sigh).Hollywood is always so slow with the black actresses.

Slow?How about uninterested.And if you're passionate about movies re-watching them should not be a chore.

November 21,2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

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