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New York Awards 2002

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Julianne Moore, Movies

The truth, whether we admit it or not, is that we might all be coming a bit undone, what with terror alerts, schizophrenic market news, and Saddam playing hide-and-go-seek with weapons inspectors. Which is why Julianne Moore is an actress for our times. Even before our sense of domestic tranquillity began to evaporate, Moore was famous for etching nuanced cinematic portraits of women on the verge: the drugged-up den mom upholding porn-family values in Boogie Nights; the disaffected painter who retaliates (in a famously full-frontal monologue) against her distrustful husband in Short Cuts; the wealthy California housewife who becomes violently allergic to, well, life itself in Safe. Given her inspired performances in dozens of other fractured fairy tales (The Big Lebowski, Assassins, and Magnolia among them) and this season’s Oscar-beckoning Far From Heaven and The Hours, it’s clear that Moore has devoted herself to piercing the fog (and denial) of the American fever dream. A great actress is only as good as the choices she makes. Julianne Moore has chosen brilliantly. -- SIMON DUMENCO


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