My current Top 5

My current Top 5


Number 52: Kim Basinger as Lynn Bracket in "L.A., Confidential" (Best Supporting Actress Ranking)

Usually considered a rather poor choice for the win, Kim Basinger has always been a winner that I would not put in the Top 10 but that I still appreciate a lot nonetheless.

In L.A., Confidential, Kim Basinger played Lynn Bracket, a high-class call-girl with the obligatory heart of gold. In this part, she is almost the only female character in this man-driven story and the sexual tension and emotional sensitivity she brings to her role are a welcome change from other scenes of violence and murder. Most of all, Kim Basinger profits a lot from fitting so beautifully into the time and place the story is set – her unique beauty and her intriguing voice seem to come right out of the 40s.

Kim Basinger is a limited actress, I don’t want to deny that. But sometimes, these limits work perfectly in a certain part – like Lynn Bracket. The fact that she isn’t the most expressive or dynamic actress only helped to increase the mystery that surrounds this character. Right from her first scene at the shop when she wishes Russell Crowe a Merry Christmas and later tells him with a certain sarcasm ‘It’s nice to know you care’, she establishes a captivating presence that not only the men in the movie but also the audience feels drawn to.

Kim Basinger loses a bit of those effects when she becomes a more traditional character, basically a loyal girlfriend, but she scores high points during all the interrogation scenes opposite Russell Crowe or Guy Pierce – her way of flirting, of tempting these men is fascinating to watch and especially her chemistry with Russell Crowe provides some of the movie’s best scenes. Her sudden surprise when this man compliments her and she begins to see that there may be more to him than initially visible is done very beautifully.

Lynn Bracket is a fame fatale, a cold blond and a good-hearted woman – and Kim Basinger caught all these aspects in her performance while carefully staying in her own comfort-zone. It’s no tour-de-force but still a memorable and beautiful piece of work.


Anonymous said...

I also liked her.She certainly brings mysteriousness every noir needs.She's not on a level of Faye Dunaway in Chinatown(for me one of the most perfectly executed performances of all time),but she wasn't given that much to do either.I understand why would somebody hate this win,but not this performance.

mrripley said...

I think it's the julianne moore fans who are most upset but i really like basinger in this as she seems of the time but my winner was not nominated sigourney weaver the ice storm but am happy basinger won as only moore really deserved a nom alongside her.

joe burns said...

I really feel she's awful here, flat, and not abe to bring put anything in the part.

I'm one of the moore fans, she was robbed!

Anonymous said...

Way too high, she did absolutely NOTHING! I honestly can't believe they gave her an Oscar for just being there 1/8 of the time, really undeserving and of course you can say it's a mysterious performance if you want, but I think that you're really looking beyond what it really is maybe because you want it to be more than it really is. I disagree, but at least it stayed in the top 60 and didn't go higher. By the way, great ranking overall, I agree with most of it (except this one, obviously).

dinasztie said...

I like her much less. But you're right she's not as bad as some say.

Still, Julianne Moore deserved to win.