jennifer connelly movies

Jennifer Connelly – The Actress of Dreams in Five Awesome Movies

Today, we discuss some movies with the stunning Jennifer Connelly, one of those actresses predestined by talent and beauty who, like few others, marked the history of cinema with a career perpetually on the rise to the best.

Born in the distant 1970s, from her childhood, she demonstrated a natural flair for the dramatic arts, forging her skills at the prestigious Stanford University and quickly becoming one of the most respected actresses on the international film scene.

It takes only a few minutes on screen for the beautiful Jennifer to captivate any man with her delicate and elegant features, her face sculpted with precision like a Greek statue, inspiring both filmmakers and viewers worldwide over the decades.

A face that is impossible to forget thanks to that gaze intense with emotion and framed by long raven hair that gives her a magnetic and inimitable presence, perfectly capable in the wide range of roles she goes on to play, from vulnerable and tormented to strong and determined women.

We can define her career with a great dedication to her art, leaving little room for gossip about various loves and lovers, hence one of her most famous quotes, which perfectly reflects her philosophy in her work and private life:

“I think it is important to maintain a certain mystery toward others. If you explain too much, you take away people’s ability to dream.”

In the following article, we will explore five of the most significant films in Jennifer Connelly‘s career, from her first steps on film sets to her latest efforts as an actress, still as fascinating beyond the threshold of fifty as she was when she was just a child.

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

Once Upon a Time in America 1984 movie
Amazon Prime Video

To begin with, in one of the most essential films in world history, the movie debut of a still 14-year-old Jennifer Connelly is already enchanting with the magic of her beauty.

Indeed, we are talking about what was, unfortunately, the last masterpiece of Sergio Leone, who passed away too early at 60 after carving his name into the tablets of the law of the seventh art, albeit with only seven films in his short but pivotal biography.

Here, we follow the long journey of the regretful old gangster Noodles, from his beginnings as a thug and petty street thief while still a child to his conquest of the liquor trade during Prohibition.

Now old, tired, and friendless, Noodles must return to the game when he receives a mysterious letter promising a million dollars to kill the powerful and compromised Senator Bailey.

Navigating through the fog of opium clouding his memories, we find out what his dreams were and who his old friends were, later becoming merciless killers like a faithful friend/roadside brother, Max.

Above all, we get to see the first love of his life, Deborah, played by the divine Jennifer Connelly, whom we see dancing with the grace of an angel in one of the most comic and romantic scenes ever directed by Sergio Leone; only to have a terrifying denouement when Deborah and Noodles meet again as adults.

Leone fights fiercely with distribution to defend his latest work of art from the stupid and obtuse American mentality, forcing him to cut over an hour of footage and re-edit the rest chronologically, ruining the poetry of time travel intended by the director.

However, as is often the case in cinema, true artists win in the ages against the half-wits who would like to deface their art.

Phenomena (1985)

Phenomena 1985 movie
Amazon Prime Video

Not even a year later, Jennifer Connelly worked with another great director of the Italian scene, Dario Argento, who was still at the height of his fame as a master of horror before sinking into the ignominy of the forgettable films made in the late 1990s onward.

In this case, old dear Dario makes the most of all the visionary power of his cinema by telling us about the adventures of young Jennifer Corvino, daughter of a famous actor who, always busy with work commitments, sends her to study at an exclusive boarding school in Switzerland.

Sweet Jennifer is tormented from the first night by nightmares and visions she cannot explain, as well as suffering from sleepwalking that takes her to unfamiliar places in the middle of the night.

During one of these walks, barely conscious in her sleep, the girl believes she is witnessing the brutal murder of a schoolmate, later finding herself wandering the streets until she arrives at the door of Professor John McGregor.

McGregor is a famous entomologist who immediately gets along with her, given his almost supernatural propensity to love and like insects of all kinds, beginning together to investigate this mysterious killer who has been raging in those mountains for years without the police being able to stop him.

This macabre tale by Dario Argento lives on in the relationship between Jennifer Connelly and the friendly Donald Pleasence, another face known to horror lovers, as in John Carpenter‘s fantastic movies such as Halloween or Lord of Evil.

Another Italian cult film with the background of the magnificent Goblins music, already authors of the unforgettable sound that accompanied the murders in Deep Red.

Also, as always, the candid beauty and innocence of the beautiful Jennifer are worth the price of the ticket alone.

The Hot Spot (1990)

The Hot Spot 1990 movie

So we arrive in 1990 with Jennifer Connelly in the lush glow of her 19 years and under the direction of a veteran Dennis Hopper, for a movie as caliente as the title promises.

The absolute protagonist is the charming Harry Madox, an all-American to whom the law of taking what you want in life applies, never waiting for anyone’s permission.

As soon as he arrives in town, he swoops into the nearest car dealership and closes a deal without being hired by the owner, the wealthy Mr. George Harshaw.

It is soon that Harry starts entertaining Dolly, George’s beautiful wife, while at the same time he also sets his sights on young Gloria, the innocent and beautiful secretary.

But really, Harry is after easy money, so he robs the local bank using the diversion of a fire he has set.

At that point, the bad guy would like to dump Dolly and run away together with Gloria, but the former is entirely crazy and plots to kill her husband, while the latter is entangled in the shady blackmail of a slimy redneck named Sutton, who forces her to steal money from the cash register to keep some compromising photos secret.

Dennis Hopper paints a ruthless portrait of American suburbia by first mythologizing his characters like every genre stereotype and then tearing them apart and pitting them against each other.

It’s a massacre game in which jigger Don Johnson jumps between blond Virginia Madsen‘s bed and Jennifer Connelly‘s, with a series of unexpected twists and turns that bury any predictable happy ending in bitterness.

In short, it is a great little classic 90s Texas noir, with every cliche of the era taken to excess, as well as the innate charisma and sex appeal of its protagonists.

Dark City (1998)

Dark City 1998 movie
Amazon Prime Video

Jumping forward 8 years, we come to the second movie by Alex Proyas, a young video clip author who later moved on to cinema with the famous “The Crow.”

Suppose everyone knows the successful and cursed horror rock that was Brandon Lee‘s last acting effort; I do not know how many remember this exceptional sci-fi movie with the atmosphere and spirit of old 1940s noir.

The story takes place in a city immersed in an endless night where our protagonist, John Murdoch, wakes up with no recollection of who he is or how he arrived in a hotel room next to the dead body of a woman.

The only flash in his forgetful brain is his love for his beautiful wife, Emma, whom he begins to search for just as every person in town seems to freeze like toys with dead batteries.

That’s when dark figures in long raincoats arrive, reshaping at will not only the contours of buildings but also the lives of people lying unconscious, giving them a new life and identity.

His seemingly implausible account piques the interest of Inspector Bumstead and the enigmatic Dr. Schreber, the latter intimately connected to the mysterious beings he cryptically refers to as ‘The Strangers‘.

Dark City is a film that has slipped into the shadows of time (ironically, much like the characters within its narrative), yet it maintains its unique essence and style, standing tall amidst its more celebrated counterparts.

Once again, all eyes are on the beautiful Jennifer Connelly, surrounded by an outstanding cast, such as William Hurt and Kiefer Sutherland, and the less famous but solid Rufus Sewell.

It’s hard to think of a darker city than the one in this movie, which I recommend any true sci-fi lover catch up with at any cost.

Hulk (2003)

Hulk 2003 movie
Amazon Prime Video

To conclude, I want to discuss another snubbed and underrated movie: Ang Lee‘s version of the superhero Hulk.

Forgetting the awful sequel/reboot (albeit with the excellent Edward Norton) or the Avengers with the decent Mark Ruffalo, we have the on-screen version that best combines cinema and comics.

We know the story well, having never really changed since the old 1970s TV show with the likable Bill Bixby and the titanic Lou Ferrigno: we have the brilliant scientist Bruce Banner, who is the victim of an accident in his laboratory.

Pumped up to the eyeballs with gamma rays, his every outburst and loss of self-control ends up mutating him into a mass of green muscles that nothing and no one can stop, not even tanks or missile-laden planes and helicopters.

But just as in the old movies, the giant King Kong had as his weakness his love for sweet Ann Darrow, Dr. Banner, and his beastly alter ego also have a soft spot for sweet Dr. Betty Ross, here played, of course, by the gorgeous Jennifer Connelly.

The doctor will try to help him find balance and avoid further mishaps, but the couple’s fate is sealed by the arrival of Bruce’s father, David, a monumental and utterly insane Nick Nolte.

Ang Lee explores, at his best, like no one else before or since, the psychology of man and his desire for peace and knowledge versus the natural struggle of the beast in seeking freedom and not simply being a guinea pig held captive by the army.

Spectacular action scenes, special effects that are still top-notch today, cine-comics-style window editing (winking at directors like Brian De Palma) for a virtually perfect movie, even if no one else among critics and viewers seemed to appreciate like me.

Still, even if you’re among those who didn’t like it, you’ll at least have Ms. Connelly to admire in all her supernatural beauty because at least we’ll all agree that sweet Jennifer doesn’t need superpowers or special effects to captivate audiences.

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