Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Perfect Casting, Perfect Performance #2

Perfect Casting, Perfect Performance #2

Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in Aliens

With my first Perfect Casting piece I chose Christopher Reeve as Superman in the Superman films, but for my second piece whilst Sigourney has played Ripley the same amount of times that Reeve played Superman I have decided to single out one film from the series. Why you might ask? Well read on ....

We first meet the character of Ripley in Alien, she is one of the crew of the Nostromo who come across a nasty surprise and Ripley ends up being the sole survivor (with Jonesy of course), which leads us to Aliens, the sequel. Aliens is hailed as one of the best sequels ever made, some people prefer it over the original. They are both completely different films, and in my opinion both perfect films. The tone and mood for the films are so different, but we still have Ripley. Ripley was developed in Alien as a character, but it is in Aliens she is really fleshed out a lot more and Sigourney really shines through.

There is a reason this is the role she is most remembered for and associated with, this is a role she was meant to play, no one else would have worked. This is a role she made her own, and the performance she gives in Aliens as Ripley is quite simply perfect. She was actually nominated for an Oscar for this performance and rightfully so too. James Cameron is known for his strong female characters, and made Ripley a real leader, but not only that he tapped into her natural nurturing instincts which is a main point of the film with the relationship she forms with Newt. It does not stop her from being the tough woman she is, she is a survivor and Sigourney with her performance makes you believe every little bit of it. You really feel for her and you really believe she can kick the aliens sorry asses too.

While I think Signourney was fantastic in Alien, she is the real star in Aliens and I do believe she gives quite possibly her best performance in this film. She was great in Alien 3, no doubt and also one of the good points with Alien: Ressurection although her character is a lot different. This is the crowning jewel performance of Ripley and truly one of cinema's greatest. There are times when films just do not have a great strong female character and Ripley is top of the list with those. Without Sigourney I don't think we would have had such a great character or such a memorable one. Without that, there wouldn't have been such a demand for keeping that character alive and going in the next two films. I truly believe this was perfect casting and a perfect performance and one of the reasons why this wonderful actress is top of the list of my favourites.

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