Sex and the City was one of the most popular television shows of all HBO series. Its impact on pop culture cannot be ignored. The story of four women navigating sex and relationships in modern New York City resonated with many female viewers.
The show also made international stars out of its four main cast members, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon, although these actresses had been around for decades and were involved in many high profile films before the show. While their output has been spotty since the show formally ended its run, each of these four talented actresses has been involved in more than a few great films that showcased the versatility of their acting talents.
10 Kristin Davis- A Heavenly Christmas (2016)
Hallmark Channel Christmas movies are pretty awful. Even the people who love to watch them do it for the cheesiness of every cookie-cutter film with terrible storylines the network puts out. 2016’s A Heavenly Christmas was made for the Hallmark Channel and told the age-old tale of a modern woman who doesn’t care about the holiday season and is completely void of the Christmas spirit. When she is visited by an angel, she learns to open her eyes and heart to what this time of year is truly about.
Cliche to the nth degree, this film actually works! Kristin Davis is the woman who dislikes Christmas and Shirley MacLaine is the angel. The two actresses turn in believable performances and the film is so well-handled that it actually works.
9 Sarah Jessica Parker- Footloose
1984’s Footloose is a classic ’80s film that finds Kevin Bacon as a big city high schooler who comes to a small town where music and dancing are against the law. Of course, Bacon’s character shakes things up and gets the kids dancing as they all rally against John Lithgow’s preacher and the town’s outdated religious policies.
The film was a huge success thanks to a well-written screenplay, dedicated direction, and an extremely popular hit soundtrack. The cast was also one of the film’s greatest strengths with Sarah Jessica Parker playing the bouncy and positive young girlfriend of Chris Penn’s character. The actress was a standout among a great cast that included Dianne Weist and Lori Singer.
8 Kim Cattrall- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
After the lackluster reception to part five, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country was a highly lauded return to form for the film series. In this adventure, the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise has to save Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy after they are framed for killing the Klingon High Chancellor.
Kim Cattrall joined the cast as Lt. Valeris, a Vulcan who works closely with Commander Spock and learns to accept, adapt, and appreciate humans. Cattrall does great work as a Vulcan and achieves a perfect rapport with Leonard Nimoy’s character, fitting in nicely with the legacy cast.
7 Cynthia Nixon- The Manhattan Project
1986’s The Manhattan Project is one of the undervalued treasures of ’80s cinema. A high schooler builds an atomic bomb with plutonium he wasn’t aware was stolen, thus putting him on the run from government officials and the shady men who run an illegal nuclear laboratory.
John Lithgow stars as the teacher who helps the boy, played by Christopher Collet. Cynthia Nixon plays the girl who catches the eye and heart of the main character. Nixon was charming in her important role and made her character completely endearing.
6 Kim Cattrall- The Ghost Writer
Roman Polanski’s well-written and directed 2010 thriller The Ghost Writer found Ewan McGregor as a man hired to write the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister but stumbles on dark secrets and conspiracies. Proving once again that Polanski is one of the finest filmmakers to ever get behind a camera, this excellent film is a moody character piece/thriller that engages the audience at every turn.
The cast is uniformly excellent with Pierce Brosnan as the PM and Kim Cattrall as his long-suffering confidant. The actress fits well with Brosnan and McGregor and gives a sly performance where one never knows if she is a part of the dangerous secrets or an unknowing participant.
5 Sarah Jessica Parker- L.A. Story
Steve Martin wrote and stars in 1991’s L.A. Story, a scathingly funny look at the phony lives of the Los Angeles elite. The film is ripe with pointed humor and director Mick Jackson gives it an Ambient aura, using the music of Enya to great effect.
Sarah Jessica Parker is the decades-younger girlfriend of Martin’s main character, a sex-starved young woman who is full of life and love but is not the smartest person in the room at any moment. Parker does some of her best work in the film, as she attacks the role with a gleeful abandon that we don’t’ usually see her do as an actress.
4 Kim Cattrall- The Return Of The Musketeers
Richard Lester’s 1973 adventure The Three Musketeers and its 1974 sequel The Four Musketeers were enormous critical and commercial successes in the 1970s. With their enormous casts and grand spectacle and swashbuckling adventure, they are considered true classics.
1989’s The Return of the Musketeers continued the tradition and brought back much of the cast from the original films. This time, Kim Cattrell was added to the stock company as Justine de Winter, daughter of Faye Dunaway’s character from the original films. Cattrall got a chance to swordfight and her training made her skills believable. Her performance and character added to the fun in this overlooked adventure film.
3 Kim Cattrall- Big Trouble In Little China
John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China didn’t do well during its 1986 release but has gone on to become one of his most beloved and, retroactively speaking, one of the most popular films of the 1980s.
During the wild tale of monsters and warring Kung-Fu clans and with Kurt Russell as the hero, Kim Cattrall costarred as “Gracie”, the female lead. Her role was based on the spunky actresses of 1930s and 40s comedies but Cattrell made the character much more. Her performance is spirited and sweet but she is also allowed to be tough and part of the adventure.
2 Sarah Jessica Parker- Ed Wood
Tim Burton’s Ed Wood is the director’s loving homage to filmmaking and to the titular filmmaker who may not have had the talent but had drive and determination to spare.
Sarah Jessica Parker starred as one of Ed Wood’s wives who became tired of his obsession with getting his film made and by the shocking revelation that he was a crossdresser. Although she doesn’t have much screen time, Parker leaves her mark amongst Burton’s ensemble cast by grounding her scenes with Johnny Depp as Wood.
1 Cynthia Nixon- Amadeus
Milos Forman’s Amadeus won 8 Oscars and is one of the most respected films ever made. The film is considered the pinnacle of films about classical composers. F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce give towering performances and Forman directs with a grand style that studios seem to have forgotten.
Cynthia Nixon is memorable in her small role as “Lorl” a young woman who is hired by Abraham’s Solieri to spy on Hulce’s Mozart, for whom she works as a housemaid. The actress shows a person who lets herself be bullied and mentally overpowered but whose soul breaks through to help her see the errors of her actions. Nixon is perfect as the put-upon young woman who needs the money but believes her alliance with her two employers will damn her soul.
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