The Juliette Lewis Top Ten

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Juliette Lewis first garnered major critical acclaim in Martin Scorsese’s Cape Fear, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. Since then she’s starred in countless critically acclaimed films and TV series, including What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Natural Born Killers and From Dusk Till Dawn. To celebrate the release of Retribution, on DVD from January 12th 2015, courtesy of Signature Entertainment, we look back on her greatest roles over the years.

Retribution (2015)

This intense thriller about a father and his rebellious teenage son stars Lewis alongside Aaron Paul and Josh Wiggins. When 13-year-old Jacob (Wiggins) finds release in the exhilarating world of motocross, his increasingly reckless behaviour threatens to affect those that matter to him most. Featuring heart-wrenchingly raw turns by both Paul and Lewis, the drama paints a powerful portrait of a family on the brink of destruction.

Cape Fear (1991)

Martin Scorsese’s classic crime thriller stars Lewis in a role that catapulted her to the a-list, alongside Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange. De Niro plays Max Cady, a convicted rapist who resolves to stalk the family of Sam Bowden (Nolte), the lawyer who originally defended him, and who he believes is responsible for the fourteen years he lost behind bars. Lewis plays Bowden’s daughter, and was nominated for countless awards for the role, winning several of them.

Husbands and Wives (1992)

Woody Allen’s comedy explores the ramifications on a couple’s marriage after their fellow married friends begin divorce proceedings. Gabe (Allen) and Judy Roth (Mia Farrow) have a seemingly stable life together- but when their friends Jack (Sydney Pollack) and Sally (Judy Davis) separate, they are forced to acknowledge the cracks in their own relationship- including Gabe’s inappropriate relationship with his student Rain, played by Lewis.

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

Lewis stars opposite Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio in this touching drama about a family striving to survive with the absence of a father figure- Gilbert (Depp) is shouldering the responsibility of looking after his younger siblings as well as his obese mother, and finally realises what the world has to offer when the charismatic free spirit Becky (Lewis) sweeps into town.

Natural Born Killers (1994)

Oliver Stone’s controversial, outrageously violent satire divided opinion on release, and stars Lewis and Woody Harrelson as a young couple united by their love of violence. Embarking on a horrific killing spree, they captivate an irresponsible media that glamorise the pair, even after their arrest. Robert Downey, Jr takes a supporting role as a controversy-courting newsman, determined to ensure the pair’s fame and notoriety for his own benefit.

The Basketball Diaries (1995)

This harrowing adaptation of Jim Carroll’s biography charts the rise and fall of a talented student who spirals into heroin addiction after he and his fellow basketball team-mates dabble in drug experimentation. Uncomfortable but compelling viewing, the drama stars Leonardo Dicaprio and Lorraine Bracco alongside Lewis.

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

This cult classic stars Lewis alongside George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel and Ernest Liu, and follows the exploits of the sadistic Gecko brothers (Clooney and Tarantino) and the family they’ve taken hostage (Keitel, Liu and Lewis). After a string of robberies the siblings head to Mexico and kidnap the Fuller family to cross the border. Arriving at a bar, they quickly realize they’ve inadvertently stumbled into a venue teeming with horrific, blood-sucking vampires. Engaged in a fight for their lives, the Fullers and Geckos are forced to band together to take on the supernatural beings.

The Other Sister (1999)

Lewis stars opposite Diane Keaton and Tom Skerritt in this comedy drama about Carla, a mentally challenged young woman who returns home after graduating, determined to assert her independence and capabilities, despite the challenges raised by her guilt-ridden parents and her ‘perfect’ sister.

Old School (2003)

Lewis takes a foray into comedy for this cult favourite, starring alongside Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn. When Mitch (Wilson) discovers his nymphomaniac wife (Lewis) has been cheating on him, friends Beanie (Vaughn) and Frank (Ferrell) decide the best way to cheer him up is to start a fraternity in his new bachelor pad. Rallying a group of college student misfits and middle-aged men, the trio embark on a last-ditch attempt to recapture their youth… with hilarious results.

August: Osage County (2013)

Based on the play by Tracy Letts, this darkly comic look at a family in turmoil boasts a star-studded cast, including Lewis, Meryl Street, Julia Roberts, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan Macgregor and Margo Martindale. Lewis plays Karen, the middle child of three sisters, summoned home by their mother (Streep) after their father (Sam Shepard) goes missing- with the crisis unearthing long-buried secrets and resentments.

RETRIBUTION is released on DVD on January 12th courtesy of Signature Entertainment.

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.



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