Miranda Richardson Movies
Known for her vibrant, intelligent portrayals of women who run the gamut from cold-blooded killers to long-suffering wives, Miranda Richardson
is one of the British cinema's foremost purveyors of elegant, energetic dysfunction.
Born in Southport, Lancashire, on March 3, 1958, Richardson began acting in school plays and left school at the age of 17 to study drama at the Bristol Old Vic Theatres School. Following her graduation, she acted in repertory theatre, becoming affiliated with Manchester's Liberty Theatre in 1979. Obtaining her Equity card, Richardson performed in a number of regional productions before moving on to the London stage in 1981. While performing on the stage, she also began acting on television and then in film. Her first big break came when she was cast as the real-life Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed for murder in Britain, in Mike Newell
's Dance with a Stranger
(1985). Her astonishing performance as a woman destroyed by her dependence on her loutish lover (played by a sulky Rupert Everett
) earned wide critical acclaim, but Richardson remained fairly unknown outside of Britain.
In 1987, having turned down the opportunity to play the role that went to Glenn Close
in Fatal Attraction
, the actress appeared in her first American outing, Steven Spielberg
's adaptation of J.G. Ballard
's Empire of the Sun
. Richardson's portrayal of a doctor's wife interned in a Japanese prison camp provided what little sensual heat there was to be found in the film, but it was not until five years later that American audiences finally took notice of her.
In 1992, Richardson had substantial roles in both Damage
and The Crying Game
. Playing the long-suffering wife of a philandering MP (Jeremy Irons
) in the former and a murderous IRA operative in the latter, she impressed both critics and audiences with the spellbinding range and depth of her performances. Her work in both films received a number of honors, including a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her work in Damage
and a BAFTA award in the same category for her portrayal of The Crying Game
's Jude. In addition, Richardson won a Golden Globe for her work in another film that year, Mike Newell
's Enchanted April
, in which she played one of a group of British women who find liberation in the hills of Tuscany.
Richardson received her second Oscar nomination and third BAFTA nomination two years later, for her vivid, full-blooded performance in Tom and Viv
, in which she played the aristocratic, unstable wife of T.S. Eliot. She subsequently did starring work in films of widely varying quality, turning in particularly memorable performances in Robert Altman
's Kansas City
(1996) and Robert Duvall
's The Apostle
(1997). In the first, she demonstrated great wit as a politician's drug-addicted wife, while in the second, she made her small role as a radio station secretary one of the film's most memorable features.
Following a turn in David Hare
's The Designated Mourner
(which was filmed in 1997 as the actors were also performing in its original production on the London stage) and a delightfully nasty stint as the evil queen in Merlin
(1998), Richardson could be seen in a number of projects in 1999. Two of these were particularly high-profile, the first being Tim Burton
's Sleepy Hollow
, in which Richardson did time in a bodice and fright wig to portray a mysterious woman of questionable intention. The second, George Hickenlooper
's The Big Brass Ring
, was a political drama that featured the actress as the wife of a gubernatorial candidate (William Hurt
) whose campaign is severely threatened by his past indiscretions.
Richardson ushered in the new millenium with a role in the remake of the classic British crime-thriller Get Carter and by lending her voice to the claymation family film Chicken Run. In 2002, she wowed critics both with her performance in The Hours as well as in David Cronenberg's Spider, a film that had Richardson playing three different characters opposite Ralph Fiennes. After a handful of small films in 2003, the actress returned to the megaplexes as the Queen of Denmark in 2004's The Prince & Me. ~ Rebecca Flint Marx, Rovi
When a screenwriter gets involved on a film project with his producer friend, he is seduced by the director's adolescent sister--even though his agent has repeatedly warned him to try to keep a distance from the two. Soon he finds that the girl has been manipulating everyone around her and when she winds up missing, the writer is left to try to figure out what has happened. This psychological/sexual drama features actors Jeff Goldblum, Daniel Ceccaldi, Dexter Fletcher, Liza Walker and Miranda Richardson. ~ Kristie Hassen, Rovi
- Jeff Goldblum, Miranda Richardson, (more)
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Actor and author Richard E. Grant made his directorial debut with this period comedy drama inspired by his own experiences growing up in colonial Africa in the sixties. Ralph Compton (Zachary Fox) is the 11-year old son of Harry (Gabriel Byrne), the minister of education in the British-controlled African nation of Swaziland. While Harry is a likeable and well-connected man, his marriage to Lauren (Miranda Richardson) is on shaky ground, and when he learns she's been having an affair with one of his best friends, she leaves him and he begins drinking heavily. Harry sends Ralph to boarding school when things start to get unpleasant, and after two years he returns home to discover that some changes have been made. Ralph (now played by Nicholas Hoult) finds that his father is still drinking, but seems a more relaxed and better adjusted man -- and has just remarried, having tied the knot with Ruby (Emily Watson), a former stewardess from America. Ralph naturally resists Ruby's presence in the house, but the two become close, as Ruby indicates that she understands Ralph better than anyone else (and he senses the same). Meanwhile, the British start to withdraw from Swaziland. Wah-Wah received its world premiere at the 2005 Edinburgh Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
- Nicholas Hoult, Emily Watson, (more)