Saturday, May 23, 2009

Judy Davis

Judy Davis.

I think I know who she is.

Is she the one in the Woody Allen film? Husbands and Wives....

And I think she was in Impromptu with that actor my sister likes. What's his name?

My mind is drawing a blank....


I got it.  

Hugh Grant.

Let me make sure I'm right about who Judy Davis is....

I am.

That's good.

Baby Judy was born on 23 April 1955.

Birthday website time!

She's a Taurus and an 11. My last 11 was Julian Burnside, I think. I loved writing about Burnside. Hopefully I'll love writing about Davis as well.

Judy Davis was born in Perth. Her family was Catholic. For school she went to a place called Lorento Convent. I can't find any current websites for that place, so I'm guessing maybe it closed down.

Davis later attended The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). This is in New South Wales, so I guess she left Perth.

Did I write about this place before? I can't remember.

Okay. I probably did because Toni Collette went there. There's a few names I recognize from their alumni list. Three actors from McLeod's Daughters attended the school.

Davis married an actor Colin Friels. They've been together since 1984. That's pretty impressive for a celebrity marriage. They did have some problems in their marriage; something that included a court order. Yikes. But they overcame that. And Friels overcame something else...Pancreatic Cancer. Wow. He was diagnosed in 1997. Lord Wiki says he's one of the few patients to go into long-term remission. Yeah, I've heard most people die of that. Well, I hope he continues to do well.

Okay. Now Lord Wiki goes into her career.....

Her first real movie (if I'm getting this right) was My Brilliant Career. I need to read that book. Why haven't I read that book yet?

Speaking of books....

I've decided to stop buying nonfiction.

I read enough nonfiction stuff online.

I think for now on I'm just going to buy fiction books, preferably mostly young adult and children stuff.

I have seven nonfiction books left on my bookshelf. Once I get through those....I'm done. I might read an occasional autobiography (such as Helen Reddy's) and a VERY occasional self-help book (there's an eating disorder one I'm interested in). But that's it.

Back to Davis.....

She won a BAFTA award for My Brilliant Career. BAFTA is British. I just learned that about ten seconds ago. I'm looking at the awards for 2008. It doesn't seem they differ much in opinion from the American awards. Well, at least in terms of movies. For TV shows it's definitely different nominees and winners.

My Brilliant Career came out in 1979.

In 1981 she portrayed Israeli leader Golda Meir in a docudrama. Well, she played the younger version of Meir. Ingrid Bergman played the older version.

In 1984, she was in A Passage to India. I sadly haven't seen that movie either. Davis was nominated for an academy award. So, who did she lose to?

Sally Field.

Is that where Field did the You like me. You really like me speech? I've seen Field's movie...Places in the Heart. Gennie James played the little girl in that movie. James was in the movie Alex the Life of a Child. That's the movie that pushed me into becoming obsessed with Cystic Fibrosis. And Cystic Fibrosis is why I met Tim....

But back to Judy Davis.

She was in a movie called High Tide. It's about a woman who tries to reunite with her child that's being raised by its paternal grandparents. She received AFI awards for that.

Basically Davis has been in a bunch of movies I've never seen.

I'm not in the mood to list all of them.

I'm going to see if I can find any interesting info for the two films I've definitely seen.

Well, there's not much from Lord Wiki. He just lists awards. She received the Independent Spirit Award for Impromptu. I'm looking at their nominees for 2009. Charlie Kaufman has a new movie. I like his stuff; well, at least the two I've seen (Being John Malkovitch and Adaptation). I also saw part of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I loved the little bit that I saw.

For Husbands and Wives, Judy Davis received many awards...National Board of Review, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Southeastern Film Critics Association, National Society of Film Critics....oh well, I'm tired of naming them. You get my drift, right?

She was nominated by the big guys, but didn't win. For the Oscars, she lost to Marisa Tomei. Whatever happened to Tomei? I haven't seen her in awhile. Oh well. It seems she's in stuff. I just haven't seen any of it. I'm out of touch when it comes to movies.

I think I'm done with Lord Wiki.

So far, I feel this post isn't very exciting. I hope it gets better.

I'm going to look at IMDb.

It seems currently Davis is on a TV Show called The Starter Wife. Is that American or Australian?

I feel completely out of it here.

Okay. It's American. What channel is it on?

The USA network?


I don't think I ever watch that channel. I haven't added it to our favorite channel list thing on our TV. 

I kind of always pictured the USA network to have trashy stuff. I didn't know they had shows starring award-winning Actresses.

Well, you learn something new everyday....

Now I'm going to look at the trivia/bio stuff.

IMDb says she often plays brittle neurotic women. I'm neurotic. I might be brittle too. But I'm not sure what that means exactly. This dictionary has two definitions when applied to people. First, there's easily hurt or offended. That's DEFINITELY me. Then there's lacking warmth, depth, or generosity of spirit. I don't think that's me.

Davis has two kids. Charlotte and Jack. I like both those names. I love the second one.

She did Romeo and Juliet at school with Mel Gibson.

Her family can trace their family back to the original British settlement in Perth. Wow.

She didn't get along well with the director of A Passage to India. That's David Lean and it seems he didn't do any movies after A Passage to India. Maybe Davis traumatized him or something. I'm joking. There was probably another reason for his retirement.

Davis was miserable doing My Brilliant Career. Now things are getting more interesting.....

She was not allowed to see movies as a child.

She began filming Celebrity two weeks after giving birth to Charlotte. And in the midst of playing supermom, her husband had pancreatic cancer.

Although she works in a lot of American film, she insists on living in Australia. I wonder if that's still true. How does she manage to do a TV show? Maybe she lives here temporarily?

All right. I think I'll go find another website now.

You know....maybe I'll go on YouTube and see if I can watch some of her work.

Here she is playing Judy Garland. Is she really singing or did they dub in Garland's voice? I'm going to guess Davis is lip-syncing. If not, I'm very impressed.

I'm going to watch her interview on The View...even though I usually strongly dislike that show.

This is about The Starter Wife. Debra Messing is there too.

I love Davis' voice.

She says she doesn't like doing award shows. She's not into all that Hollywood stuff.

She says she's shy. I think a lot of actresses are.

Here's another interview with Davis. Her voice is so low. It reminds me a little bit of Mercedes McCambridge. in The Exorcist. I can totally picture Davis and her voice saying Now kindly undo these straps.

Interesting. It seems she never did an Enough Rope Interview. I guess because she's shy. Maybe I can find other interviews though. Well, I know I found the one on YouTube, but I'd rather read transcripts. I'm better at reading than listening. Plus, then I can copy and paste the interesting stuff I want to quote.

Here's an article about Davis. Maybe it's more of an essay. I don't know.

They say that some critics have compared her to Katherine Hepburn. I can see the similarities...although I haven't seen much of Hepburn's work.

About a Brilliant Career, Davis said I thought it was a children's film. It was so simplistic. What's wrong with children's films? I think simplistic can be very nice sometimes.

The New Age
sounds like a movie I might like. It's by the same guy who made The Rapture with Mimi Rogers. Have any of you seen that movie? It's about religion. I liked it.

Or maybe I won't like this one. The synopsis doesn't sound that interesting to me.

The essay says that in American films, Davis is usually part of an ensemble cast. In Australian films, she's more often the star, and the one that carries the film.

Here's a story about Davis having an uncomfortable encounter with Germaine Greer. Apparently Greer really liked the movie that Davis didn't like.  A Brilliant Career. Greer saw the movie as iconic feminism. She grabbed onto Davis in a party and paraded her around to meet her friends. Davis wasn't happy about that and wanted to get away.

Okay. Here's an interview that was done in 2001; not long after September 11. It's about the movie The Man Who Sued God. That actually looks like a pretty good movie.

She liked working with Billy Connolly.

Davis says Connolly is shy and hypersensitive. Doesn't that describe most people who choose acting as a career?

Davis fell in love with Judy Garland while playing her. I can totally imagine how that would happen. I sometimes fall in love with the people I research, but then I usually move on the next day when I have to write about the next person.

Davis says she doesn't spend much time in self-reflection. We differ strongly there. I'm so often reflecting on myself. That's one of the reasons I hesitate going into therapy. I think of therapy as being more for people who never think about themselves...the ones that are always in denial. I mean I go for denial sometimes, but I at least think and consider the thing I'm trying to deny. I think some people don't even consider or think about what they're hiding from themselves.

Here's another essay. It's from Bomb Magazine. The author says, Mention Judy Davis, and immediately many women (and men) will say “My favorite actress.” I’m one of them.

I don't know who my favorite actress is. I probably don't have one.

I feel like I'm totally failing with this entry.


I'm going to look at Google News. Maybe I'll find something there.

This article says Davis stars in a recent miniseries called Diamonds.

It's about the blood diamond thing.

I hate diamonds.

I mean as a gemstone they're the spiritual or geology kind of thing. But I hate how they're used as a status symbol. I just don't understand all that.

Well, I'm glad they did this movie. Maybe it will brainwash more people into sharing my viewpoint. No, I'm joking. We have all have our loves. I love Australia. Some people love jewels. That's fine. I just hope they try to buy ethical ones.

Why am I having such a hard time with this entry?

I'm going to try again to find more interviews.....

No luck.

Here's an article about her suing a newspaper for defamation.

Davis shuns the media. She lives a private life. And that probably explains why I can't find that much information about her.

Apparently she went to some council meeting. Reporters were there and they wrote about her. She didn't like that. The newspaper said she stormed out of a meeting because she disagreed with the idea of floodlights. Davis believes the newspaper was trying to push the idea of her being a child-hater. I guess people who love children like floodlights, and those who hate children are against floodlights. I love children so that must mean I love floodlights. What are floodlights?

Okay, it's lots of light over a large area.

I wonder why Davis was against it. Well, I guess that's her private business.

She won the case though.

Anyway, I feel for her. I know what it's like to feel misunderstood and ganged up on. It's NOT fun.

I give up on trying to find out stuff about Davis.

Instead, I think I'm going to return to IMDb and look at the descriptions of her work. I'll see if there's anything that looks particularly interesting to me.

Before My Brilliant Career, she was in an Australian movie called High Rolling. Well, it doesn't actually look like something I'd like. I just want to make note that My Brilliant Career wasn't technically her first movie.

My Brilliant Career sounds good. It's about defying family expectations. I like that. I can see why Germaine Greer might have taken a liking to the film.

Ah! I might have found something. I got to A Passage to India and remembered the clash between Davis and David Lean. I googled that and ended up finding another interview! It was done in 1997.

Davis says she's never been political. That's something else we don't have in common. I'm somewhat political.

I like this quote from Davis. It's raw and honest. She's told she's like her characters in that she doesn't care about being popular. Davis responds, I do care if I’m popular. I’m just not good at playing the game. I wish I was better at it. I can relate to that. I like being popular. I like being liked. The problem is I happen to be the type of person who's not liked by that many people. I'm difficult. I'm weird. I have a hard time pretending something I'm not. And that which I'm not is what most people are comfortable with.

Davis says she was frightened of David Lean.

She said she tried on costumes for him and he dismissed them. I guess he was acting insensitive and difficult.

Davis says she likes working with Woody Allen. I have to admit. I like the guy. Yeah, it was kind of rude of him to run off with his wife's daughter. But they're still together. Maybe it's true love. I don't know.

Anyway, I'm getting tired.

IMDb is working slow so it's hard to click on all the movies to see if I'm interested in any of them.

I'm going to give up.



  1. She was very good in Heatwave (1982) and Winter of our Dreams. She is a bit diva like in her behaviour I think.

  2. Andrew,

    I really need to see more of her work.

    Not sure about the diva stuff. I really feel I didn't get a lot of info on this one. I feel I digged and digged...and pretty much came up empty.

  3. I'm actually going to comment on Colin Friels - he's a fantastic actor (and severely under-rated) in his own right. If you havent already seen it - go get "Malcolm" - it's about an intellectually disabled man who loves trams (based in Melbourne of course). Very heartwarming.

    By the way, I came across your stuff from Daniel Bowen's blog (I've been reading TCWF since about 1991/2!) - so hope you don't mind!

    Question for you - what makes you so interested in Australia?

  4. OG,

    Hi! Of course I don't mind that you're here! I love "meeting" new people.

    I shall keep my eye out for Malcolm--or anything with Colin Friels. I rarely (if ever) rent movies. But I do flip through the movie channels often. And fairly often there's an Aussie movie playing on some of them.

    I'm still not quite sure why I'm so interested in Australia. But I do find it to be a fascinating place. Sorry. That's a pretty pathetic answer, isn't it?