It seems that this media trope is the type I go for… Interestingly, of my top favourite actresses, five have played some version of this type of character. Maybe they all have. Maybe all female movie characters are a variation on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Maybe not. Anyway, here’s a breakdown:
Natalie Portman is number one. Her character in Garden State is the one who shakes Zach Braff out of his emotionally numb existence. Other great roles: Leon: The Professional, and her cameo in Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited (well, the short Hotel Chevalier, really).
Audrey Tautou, the French pixie girl, of course Amelie lives to right the wrongs in her little world and finds Mathieu Kassovitz along the way. I loved her in A Very Long Engagement as well. To see a more recent collaboration with Jean-Pierre Jeunet go here.
Kirsten Dunst. I won’t say much. For her it was Elizabethtown which like most people it would seem, I didn’t like. She’s here for completely different reasons. Namely The Virgin Suicides and Marie Antoinette.
Zooey Deschanel is a new addition, but her role in (500) Days of Summer turning Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s life upside down seals the deal for me.
And for my final mention, Maggie Gyllenhaal. So great in everything, but its for Stranger Than Fiction, where her anarchist baker helps Will Farrell in changing his life, that she pops up here. She brings such great emotional intensity to every role I’ve seen her play, but my favourite would have to be opposite brother Jake in Donnie Darko. Probably just because I love that movie so much.