Why Jodie Foster Is an Underrated Director?

In an industry with far too few prominent women filmmakers, Jodie Foster has been an underrated director who deserves to be heralded as an auteur.

It almost goes without saying that Jodie Foster is one of the best actresses of the past several decades, as her resume is stacked with cinematic classics that have stood the test of time. A two-time Academy Award-winner, Foster won her Oscars for her emotionally devastating depiction of a sexual assault victim in The Accused and her now iconic performance as Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs. While she’s often drawn to dramatic roles, and has been delivering mature roles since Taxi Driver, Foster has done everything from science fiction classics like Contact to modern heist movies like Inside Man.

While Foster’s return to high profile projects like the upcoming season of True Detective from Barry Jenkins is highly anticipated, she has been incredibly active within the past decade as a director. Foster has stated that she’s enjoyed her career as a filmmaker, and that it now takes serious passion to draw her into acting roles. She has called directing controversial movies like The Beaver as the biggest challenge of her career, and her willingness to continue improving as a storyteller speaks to the bravery she has always shown on screen. In an industry with far too few prominent women filmmakers, Foster has been an underrated director who deserves to be heralded as an auteur. Her acting resume may be unparalleled, but her directorial work is just as deserving of praise.

Telling Untraditional Stories

Jodie Foster in Flightplan
Buena Vista Pictures

Many of Foster’s early performances were surprising because she could play unusual characters and take serious risks; Freaky Friday has a pretty odd premise for a mainstream comedy, and Panic Room is a very unusual take on a standard break-in thriller. Her works as a director are similarly unusual. While The Beaver was shrouded in controversy due to the allegations surrounding its star, Mel Gibson, it hasn’t been appreciated for what it is: one of the most bizarre, yet touching dramedy films in recent memory. The 2011 film was Foster’s first time behind the camera since Home for the Holidays, and it’s baffling to see the overt stylistic differences between the two.

In The Beaver, Gibson stars as the depressed business CEO Walter Black, who undergoes a separation from his wife (played by Foster in a supporting role). Unable to connect with his son Porter (Anton Yelchin), Black seeks therapeutic help by speaking to a stuffed beaver toy. Eventually, the beaver develops into a way for him to heal from his grief and mental health issues, and so Walter continues to use it in professional settings. While the concept itself seems silly, Foster does a great job at showing the strange ways in which individuals that are struggling can address their feelings. She acknowledges the inherently peculiar nature of the story, and somehow manages to make the film both sweet and emotional.

Foster is also such an experienced actress that she has no difficulty in getting great performances out of her cast. While Gibson’s crimes are very serious and the controversy surrounding his performance was justified, The Beaver nonetheless gives him one of the best roles he’s had in recent memory. Foster manages to make him sympathetic, which wasn’t easy to do considering everything that Gibson had been accused of. She also showed an aptitude for finding young stars that clearly had potential; the film features one of Jennifer Lawrence’s first performances as Norah, a classmate of Porter’s who he instantly falls in love with. Considering Foster’s history as a child star, it makes sense that she would choose to spotlight another young performer in a similar situation.

Exploring Relevant Topics

A scene from Money MonsterTriStar Pictures

Many of Foster’s best film roles came in projects that spotlighted important societal issues and helped spread awareness; her unflinching performance as a rape victim in The Accused examined the horrific ways in which women are forced to reflect upon traumatic experiences in the legal system. It only makes sense that she would show the same awareness and sensitivity to important causes in her work as a director.

While her 2016 film Money Monster seems to be somewhat forgotten, it was a rightfully inflammatory look at media obsession, America’s fixation on wealth, the availability of weapons to those with mental health disorder, and the startling economic practices of some of the world’s most corrupt business practices. Money Monster is an example of a thrilling genre film with a unique premise that is relevant to modern cultural conversations; it’s the type of mid-budget star vehicle that Hollywood seems to avoid making nowadays in an industry dominated by blockbusters and streaming properties.
Money Monster focuses on the business television host Lee Gates (George Clooney), who hosts a program revolving around savvy investments and building an economic portfolio. Lee is taken hostage during the middle of a day of shooting by the enraged poor man Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell), who has lost everything in the wake of the financial collapse.

Kyle blames people like Lee for causing his misfortune, and Foster is unafraid to show why both characters are flawed in their thinking. Kyle’s situation is unfortunate, but Foster indicates that trying to solve years of economic disenfranchisement with a weapon isn’t going to solve anything. She even makes Kyle look like a complete fool when he tries to contact his family live on air. Similarly, Clooney plays an initially unlikeable character, and Foster deserves credit for turning one of the most charismatic actors in the industry into a “monster.”

Underrated Television Work

kevin spacey in house of cardsMedia Rights Capital

While sadly Foster hasn’t directed another feature film since Money Monster, she has directed several standout episodes of prestigious television shows. She helmed a pivotal installment in the second season of Netflix’s House of Cards, which is generally regarded as the show’s peak. With a storyline focused on Frank Underwood’s (Kevin Spacey) plot to take control of the White House, Foster once again showed her interest in exploring recent political events.

Foster also helmed the underrated Black Mirror episode “Arkangel,” one of the show’s most emotional examinations of youth culture and the dominant role that social media plays in their lives. It’s among the more tender episodes of a series that is often completely bleak in its approach.

Related Posts

Our Privacy policy

https://news75today.com - © 2024 News75today