Theme Times – Susan Sarandon

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Susan Sarandon

Susan Abigail Sarandon Tomalin; born October 4, 1946) is an American actress and activist. She has received an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, and has been nominated for nine Golden Globe Awards. Known for her social and political activism, she was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1999 and received the Action Against Hunger Humanitarian Award in 2006.

Sarandon began her career in the film Joe (1970), before appearing in the soap opera A World Apart (1970–71). In 1974, she co-starred as a Zelda Fitzgerald surrogate in the TV movie F. Scott Fitzgerald and ‘The Last of the Belles’ and in 1975, she starred in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for Atlantic City (1980), Thelma & Louise (1991), Lorenzo’s Oil (1992), and The Client (1994), before winning for Dead Man Walking (1995). She has also won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for The Client, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress for Dead Man Walking. Her other films include: Pretty Baby (1978), The Hunger (1983), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Bull Durham (1988), White Palace (1990), Little Women (1994), Stepmom (1998), Enchanted (2007), The Lovely Bones (2009), Tammy (2014), The Meddler (2015), and A Bad Moms Christmas (2017).

She made her Broadway debut in An Evening with Richard Nixon in 1972 and went on to receive Drama Desk Award nominations for the Off-Broadway plays, A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking (1979) and Extremities (1982). She returned to Broadway in the 2009 revival of Exit the King.

On television, she is a six-time Emmy Award nominee, including for her guest roles on the sitcoms Friends (2001) and Malcolm in the Middle (2002), and appearances in the TV films Bernard and Doris (2007) and You Don’t Know Jack (2010). In 2017, Sarandon portrayed Bette Davis in the first season of FX’s anthology series Feud, for which she was nominated for both acting and producing Emmys. She was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy award for executive producing Cool Women in History in 2002.

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I am a huge fan of this lady, have to be honest and say that, and as l was creating this post, l was trying to think when l first saw her and then when l really became aware of her, which are two very distinct things.

I think the first film l saw her in was 1978, but really started to focus on her with 1983’s The Hunger with David Bowie. Been a fan ever since, but how about you, fan or not? If so which is your best film or films of hers, if not, why not?

Here are 18 of her best performances in my eyes.

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1 – 1975 – The Rocky Horror Picture Show

A flat tyre leaves Brad and Janet stranded on a stormy night. They experience strange incidents when they seek shelter in a nearby castle belonging to Frank-N-Furter, an eccentric transvestite.

2 – 1991 – Thelma & Louise

Meek housewife Thelma (Geena Davis) joins her friend Louise (Susan Sarandon), an independent waitress, on a short fishing trip. However, their trip becomes a flight from the law when Louise shoots and kills a man who tries to rape Thelma at a bar. Louise decides to flee to Mexico, and Thelma joins her. On the way, Thelma falls for sexy young thief J.D. (Brad Pitt) and the sympathetic Detective Slocumb (Harvey Keitel) tries to convince the two women to surrender before their fates are sealed.

3 – 1995 – Dead Man Walking

Honouring the request of a desperate man, Sister Helen Prejean writes to the condemned killer of two teenage lovers, and is wholly unprepared for the relationship that develops.

4 – 1994 – The Client

A boy, who witnesses the suicide of a lawyer and has information about a politician’s disappearance, hires a lawyer to protect him from the Mafia.

5 – 1988 – Bull Durham

Crash Davis, a veteran catcher in baseball, is hired to coach Ebby Calvin ‘Nuke’ LaLoosh, a dim-witted beginner. However, both of them soon get involved with Annie, a groupie who loves the sport.

6 – 1977 – The Other Side of Midnight

When French beauty Noelle Page (Marie-France Pisier) falls in love with American pilot Larry Douglas (John Beck), she believes he’ll marry her. Instead, he returns to the U.S and marries the sweet but naive Catherine (Susan Sarandon). Even though Noelle has found a new lover, an affluent Greek named Constantin (Raf Vallone), and has started a great career as an actress, she vows revenge on her onetime lover. But once her plan is in motion, she and Larry fall in love and plot Catherine’s death.

7 – 1987 – The Witches of Eastwick

Three single women in a village have their wishes granted at a cost, when a mysterious and flamboyant man arrives in their lives, to satisfy all their desires. Will good triumph over evil?

8 – 1990 – White Palace

Max Baron (James Spader) is a Jewish advertising executive in his 20s who’s still getting over the death of his wife. Nora Baker (Susan Sarandon) is a 40-something diner waitress who enjoys the wilder side of life. Mismatched or not, their attraction is instant and smoldering. With time, however, their class and age differences become an obstacle in their relationship, especially since Max can’t keep Nora a secret from his Jewish friends and upper-crust associates forever.

9 – 1983 – The Hunger

Miriam, a stunning vampire, preys on NYC clubgoers. When her vampire lover begins to age rapidly, he takes the help of Sarah, an aging expert. But, Miriam seduces Sarah leaving her hungry for blood.

10 – 2004 – Shall We Dance

John, a bored and overworked estate lawyer, sees a beautiful woman standing at the window of a dance studio on a daily basis. He signs up for ballroom dancing lessons with hopes of meeting her.

11 – 2006 – Bernard and Doris

Doris Duke, an immensely wealthy heiress, hires the services of an Irish butler to look after her mansion. Gradually they form an unlikely bond, so much so that she wills him her fortune.

12 – 2007 – In The Valley of Elah

Ex-military man Hank reaches the base from where his son, back from tour duty, disappears. After he finds his son’s dead body, he himself investigates the case, meeting disappointment and horror.

13 – 2003 – Ice Bound

In this adaptation of a true story, Ohio physician Dr. Jerri Nielsen (Susan Sarandon) is stranded at a research station in Antarctica. Nielsen keeps her distance from the other researchers, until she finds a growth in her breast and shares her concerns about it with Big John Penny (Aidan Devine) and Claire Furinski (Cynthia Mace). After discovering that the lump is cancerous, Nielsen creates her own method of chemotherapy and fights to survive the deadly winter.

14 – 2009 – Solitary Man

Ben Kalmen, a successful car dealer finds his life falling apart due to his personal and professional mishaps.

15 – 2010 – You Don’t Know Jack

Jack Kevorkian, an advocate, pioneers the idea of a physician-assisted suicide to the public. His family supports his ideology but he has to face opposition from outside.

16 – 2012 – Robot and Frank

An ageing jewel thief is gifted a robot by his son. He is reluctant to accept it at first, but he soon realises that the robot can help him commit burglaries.

17 – 2015 – The Meddler

After the death of her husband, a woman (Susan Sarandon) moves from New Jersey to Los Angeles to be closer to her daughter (Rose Byrne).

18 – 1992 – Light Sleeper

A Manhattan drug dealer with a wealthy clientele, John LeTour (Willem Dafoe) reevaluates both his trade and his life after discovering that his supplier, Ann (Susan Sarandon), is planning on quitting the business. When John runs into his old flame Marianne (Dana Delany), he sees reconnecting with her as a way to change for the better, but she is reluctant to rekindle the romance. Complicating John’s life further is a series of drug-related murders that has the police pegging him as a suspect.

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