‘Mulholland Drive’ and Four More Films For Naomi Watts’ Birthday

It’s Naomi Watts‘ birthday! To mark the occasion, here are five of her best performances. Check some of these out.

Mulholland Drive (2001)

If any film epitomizes the acting talent that Naomi Watts possesses, it’s Mulholland Drive. To try and explain the plot would be a waste of time in an article of this size, but throughout the movie she plays a bright-eyed and innocent Hollywood hopeful, a down and out disgruntled nobody, and pretty much everything in between. The way she switches gears is special and nothing sums it up more than her ‘audition scene’, which is quite simply spectacular. 

Funny Games (2007)

Hollywood remakes of foreign movies are usually pointless exercises, carried out for people who are too lazy to read subtitles. They usually result in a vastly inferior product because of this. Sometimes though, the remake can stand toe to toe with the original and Funny Games falls into that category. It helps that it’s a shot-for-shot remake made by the same director of course. It’s still disturbing, still full of violence and Naomi Watts plays the distressed mother on the wrong end of a home invasion perfectly. 

Eastern Promises (2007)

Starring as a British-Russian midwife, Watts character Anna discovers a diary when a young mother she is caring for, dies during childbirth. The contents of the diary lead her down a path of shocking discoveries and she takes on a task that is way above her head, as it lands her in the middle of the Russian mob. Apparently, Watts met with and shadowed a number of midwives to help her prepare for the role. It certainly paid off and it’s one of her best performances. 

Birdman (2014)

I liked Birdman when it first came out. On a second watch, I fell in love with it. I think knowing what to expect made me more comfortable with the eccentric filmmaking approach. The direction is fantastically unique but it’s the script that really makes everything work. The cast makes the absolute most of it, including Naomi Watts, with a highlight being one of the most awkwardly funny backstage kisses I’ve ever seen. 

21 Grams (2003)

Twenty-one grams is supposedly the amount of weight a human body loses when it dies. Some suspect that is the weight of the soul leaving the body. This is how the movie opens and the plot unfolds through a nonlinear narrative. The focus is on a freak accident that leads to a grieving mother (Watts), an ex-con, and a mathematician’s paths to cross. Just like in Eastern Promises Watts took a method-acting approach to the role and attended a number of grief therapy sessions. You can really tell as the way she displays grief is so visceral, at times it’s hard to watch. 

What are some of your favorite films to feature birthday girl Naomi Watts?

Author: Lee McCutcheon

Happy to watch absolutely anything, with a soft spot for world cinema.