Susan Sarandon’s first film was in 1970. She has a career spanning nearly 50 years in TV and film, and I’m not even going to pretend like I have seen most of her films, but I wanted to profile her this week because she’s the living embodiment of the argument that, while the rise of quality of TV has hurt the quality of films with budget between “arthouse” and “blockbuster, it has among other things provided quality roles to actresses who otherwise would have disappeared. Sarandon, Laura Dern, Kathy Bates, Catherine Zeta Jones, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Lange, Nicole Kidman and Robin Wright are all actresses who either won or were nominated for Best Actress in the 1990’s to early 2000’s and have already starred in huge TV events or series in 2017. Hollywood has a rancid history of putting women out to pasture when they near 40 (or earlier), and deprive us of their talent until they reach “grandma age”. Sarandon’s just concluded Feud with Lange looks at that very phenomenon as it examines the real life feud between legendary stars Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. Aside from The Rocky Horror Picture Show (which you’re either religiously fanatic about or do not get; I am the latter), most of my exposure to Sarandon’s work is from Bull Durham on, and she easily fills a top 10 with just that bit of her career. Now a septuagenarian (yes, I had to triple check that to make sure it’s accurately used but apparently Sarandon has some arrangement with Time), Sarandon is still one of the best actresses working
Susan Sarandon’s Best 10
1. Bull Durham (1988) Annie Savoy
2. Dead Man Walking (1996) Sister Helen Prejean
3. Feud (2017 – FX) Bette Davis
4. Enchanted (2007) Queen Narissa
5. Robot & Frank (2012) Jennifer
6. Thelma & Louise (1991) Louise
7. Little Women (1994) Mrs. March
8. Lorenzo’s Oil (1992) Michaela Odone
9. James and the Giant Peach (1996) Spider
10. The Client (1994) Reggie Love
Honorable Mention: You Don’t Know Jack (2010 – HBO) Janet Good
Oscars, Golden Globes & Emmys
Oscar Wins (1): Dead Man Walking (1996)
Oscar Nominations (5): Atlantic City, USA (1982), Thelma and Louise (1992), Lorenzo’s Oil (1993), The Client (1995), Dead Man Walking (1996)
Golden Globe Wins (0): None
Golden Globe Nominations (9): Bull Durham (1989), White Palace (1991), Thelma and Louise (1992), Lorenzo’s Oil (1993), The Client (1995), Dead Man Walking (1996), Stepmom (1999), Igby Goes Down (2002), Bernard and Doris (2006), Feud (2018)
Emmy Wins (0 ): None
Emmy Nominations (5): Friends (2001 – Guest Star), Malcolm in the Middle (2002 – Guest Star), Bernard and Doris (2008), You Don’t Know Jack (2010), Feud – Betty & Joan (2017)
My Favorite Sarandon Scene:
“A Face of Love” from Dead Man Walking
Next Film: Sarandon will next appear this fall with John Turturro in a spin-off based on the Coen Brothers cult hit The Big Lebowski.
One thought on “Susan Sarandon’s 10 Best Movies”
There is a middle ground with Rocky Horror. You can not get it (which I think is the sane reaction) and still enjoy the hell out of it, provided you experience a midnight showing, surrounded by rabid fans.
Dead Man Walking is one of a handful of movies that is better than the book. To me it makes a far better case against the death penalty.
Sarandon is a treasure.
But this Big Lebowski spinoff is the worst idea in the history of bad ideas. They’re going to ruin the character’s mystique, he is not going to work with so much screen time, he is too abhorrent to be a protagonist, it’s going to retroactively ruin his brilliant, few shining moments in the Big L, and the Coens are not even involved. (bangs head against wall)