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10 Best Jodie Foster Movies, Ranked

10 Best Jodie Foster Movies, Ranked

Jodie Foster movies

 


5. Nell (1994)

In this film, Foster plays a wild child who has grown up outside civilization. She lives in a mountain forest cabin with her resentful mother. A local physician Jerome Lovell (Liam Neeson) discovers Nell after her mother’s death. And, a cool-headed psychologist Paula joins Lovell in observing Nell’s private world. Despite the psychobabble and melodrama, the movie mostly works due to Foster’s raw poetic performance. She commands real interest in her character, lending both strangeness and vulnerability to Nell.

Michael Apted’s sentimental drama won Jodie Foster her 4th Academy Award nomination.

 


4. Contact (1997)

Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation of Carl Sagan’s hard sci-fi novel tells the story of Earth’s first contact with alien intelligence. Unlike several Hollywood sci-fi blockbusters, plausible science and deep philosophy drive the narrative. Jodie Foster plays Dr. Ellie Arroway, an astronomer who’s devoted her career to SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). Foster once again boldly plays a character whose intelligence and beliefs isolate her from most people. Foster’s portrayal of soul-deep emotions bring incredible poignancy, especially in the film’s final third narrative.

 


3. Taxi Driver (1976)

Jodie Foster was just 13 at the time she played teenage prostitute Iris in Martin Scorsese’s veritable masterpiece. Nevertheless, she had starred in more films and TV series than anyone else in the film at that point. Foster’s part as Iris is relatively brief. But the mixture of cynicism and youthfulness she expresses plays a pivotal role in protagonist Travis Bickle’s later actions. Moreover, Foster’s performance earns equal amount of empathy and frustration. She also absolutely holds her own in the scenes with Robert De Niro. Both Foster and De Niro were Oscar nominated for their performances.

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime 

 


Recommended: Martin Scorsese Top 10 Movies, Ranked 


2. The Accused (1988)

Jodie Foster’s acting career in the late 1970s took a dive. It was remarked that like many traditional child/pre-teen performers she’s destined for obscurity. However, in 1980s (after breaking away from the media spotlight thrown by Ronald Reagan’s assassination attempt) Foster started to play a series of well-judged adult roles. The most notable among these was Tony Richardson’s Hotel New Hampshire (1984). Incidentally, the films failed at the box-office. Hence it was the Oscar-winning performance in Jonathan Kaplan’s victim-blaming drama that served as a turning point in her career. In The Accused, Foster plays Sarah Tobias, a young waitress with a promiscuous past. One night, the drunk patrons of a seedy bar brutally rape Tobias. Subsequently, she takes her attackers and witnesses to court. Tobias easily gets marginalized and ostracized in the court due to her social status and private mistakes.

The film was both popular and controversial, placing Foster among A-list Hollywood actresses. She is absolutely fantastic in playing the hard-headed Tobias. Kelly McGillis provides a solid supporting performance as the raped woman’s lawyer.

 


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1. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Marked by Anthony Hopkins’ sterling performance, The Silence of the Lambs is a film with formidable legacy. While Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter was present onscreen for less than 20 minutes, his unforgettably creepy dialogue delivery spread a sense of discomfort throughout the narrative.

But, it was Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) who served as the film’s perfect emotional anchor-point.

Interestingly, Michelle Pfeiffer was director Jonathan Demme’s first choice for Clarice. But Foster, who’s always on the hunt for challenging roles, smartly embodied the strengths and vulnerabilities of Clarice.

Although labeled as a ‘serial-killer thriller’, the movie primarily focuses on the female FBI trainee’s experience of a male-dominated world. Clarice often faces inquisitive and rapacious looks and over the course of the narrative, she finds her authoritative voice. Accordingly Foster’s adequate performance never turns Clarice into a cipher. She is especially great in the confrontational scenes with Hopkins, showcasing a mix of fascination and dismay.

 

See Also

By Arun Kumar

 

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