Manic Pixie Dream Girl

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.


4 Responses to “Manic Pixie Dream Girl”

  1. Tom Lute Says:

    I agree with 3 of the 5, I have to admit. Natalie Portman is one of my favorite actresses. she captured my attention in the Professional and hasn’t really let go of it since. Audrey Tatou is also terrific, and it’s too bad she’s underused in unfortunate endeavors like the Da Vinci Code. Maybe Coco avant chanel is her coming back. Zooey Deschanel is also great. shes one of the best parts of Almost Famous, and I hope shes keeps on her track record of sensational movies. Kirsten Dunst…okay, I’ll give you the Virgin suicides. Maggie…yeah, Donnie Darko. Fine, in fact, I agree with all five. Just a good choice all around.

  2. thewhitebird Says:

    I actually thought that Coco Avant Chanel was pretty average. None of her roles since A Very Long Engagement have done it for me to be honest. I keep hoping and keep being disappointed. Although often I think its the film that lets her down rather than the other way around (ie. Priceless, Hunting and Gathering…)

  3. Goat Boy Says:

    Ah, a man after my own heart!(Not in that way, jackass!)

  4. Clementine Says:

    interesting, i have always felt the same way about all of the actresses and movies you discuss here. good taste, my friend 🙂

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