Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jennifer Aniston: Looking At The Right Parts

Jennifer Aniston Poster Sexy Red Teddy

As a writer struggling with my own career choices, I am frequently fascinated by the plight of creative people who seem to veer from invincible success to inscrutable failure, from performances that bring wide recognition and acclaim to a series of bad projects stacked one on top of another.

Stage or screen, television or film, an actor or actress is after all only as good as the choices he or she makes. Which script? Which project? What priority for personnel, money, prestige, ‘buzz’, art?

While some poor choices lead pretty immediately to a lack of subsequent offers, there are those stars whose past success allows them to absorb a string of poor roles and failed projects and still be able to enjoy the promise of new opportunities. And in some cases, of course, the bell eventually rings right, and a star is reborn...

Which all leads me to the most recent example of thespian career-lag to gain my attention: the singularly odd case of Jennifer Aniston. A look at some of her recent films might easily lead an uninformed observer -- like me -- to conclude that the former “Friends” star is adrift in a sea of mediocre films punctuated only by occasional islands of lousy tabloid publicity.

But a simple search for info about her recent films led me to an interesting experience that, I think, may well be instructive for anyone trying to figure out her recent career trajectory.

My search returned scant information about her films, but instead produced some lovely images -- the first of which was a thumbnail image of the star in a gorgeous sequined red negligee that amply displayed her sensual side. The full image, meanwhile, was a hi-res photo so large, it couldn’t be contained on my computer’s monitor.

So the logical next step, of course, would have been to zoom out, in order to see the entire hi-resolution image. But in keeping with my usual contrariness, I instead zoomed in (and upward, to be entirely candid) until the dominant portion of the image that filled my screen was essentially the headshot that every actor or actress brandishes as a calling card from the very start of his or her career.

And there it was: those incredible soft eyes, the expressiveness that speaks of vulnerability so deep that it can inform the depth of any character well-enough written to break our hearts or lift our spirits... and there too the strength of a strong woman who can see beyond the moment to convey the history of a character that she alone can know, as the one perfect person to play that given role...

I’m guessing that everyone who has ever cast Jennifer Aniston in her best roles -- or cast any great actor or actress in a great role -- probably had a moment just like that, where the innate qualities of the performer have outshone even the glamour of the larger picture.

May we all shine outward, even as others look at us however they choose...

© 2011 Patrick J. Walsh

1 comment:

  1. May we all shine outward, even as others look at us however they choose...

    I think that is a very beautiful statement and I do agree with much of what is said about Jennifer Anistons career.I have watched a few of her recent movies and although they werent especially moving,I am still drawn to her sweetness and I feel like she has a realness to her.
    I will continue to watch her movies and I hope one day she proves critics wrong and gives a performance that fans of her know she is capable of giving.