Robin Wright: American Actress and Director
Robin Wright is best known for her roles as Buttercup from The Princess Bride and Forrest Gump, her marriage to actor Sean Penn and Claire Underwood on the Netflix series House of Cards. Additionally, she serves as a senior fellow of the USIP-Wilson Center as well as contributing articles to New York Times Magazine on over 140 different countries she has reported from.
Robin Wright’s Biography
The Princess Bride is one of those rare films that is enjoyable for viewers of any age, from toddlers to grandparents. It enthralls viewers of all kinds as it weaves an entrancing fairy tale, an exciting sword and sorcery fantasy, romantic swashbuckling romance, farcical comedy, and witty satire all into a captivating tale about manners, class distinction, and family loyalty – featuring Cary Elwes, Robin Wright and Mandy Patinkin (now seen as President in House of Cards) among others.
Rob Reiner directed and wrote the screenplay based on William Goldman’s novel for this film. After seeing Spinal Tap, Reiner convinced Goldman he possessed the appropriate comic sensibilities to adapt Goldman’s novel into a movie script. Goldman had tried unsuccessfully for 15 years to produce such a project before Reiner (with financing provided by All in the Family colleague Norman Lear) came along and successfully made it happen.
Buttercup’s story follows her journey as she falls for Westley, only for their relationship to be abruptly broken apart by Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) and his hateful attendant Count Rugen (Christopher Guest). However, Buttercup finds comfort from Brains-averse Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), brawny Fezzik (Andre the Giant), and swordsman Inigo Montoya (Patinkin).
This movie is filled with memorable lines (“As you wish”) and adventure, yet also contains numerous quotable scenes. There is plenty of anachronistic humor and vaudevillian jokes that will make modern audiences laugh; Peter Falk even tells Fred Savage to “cross his heart and hope to die!”
Robin Wright in Moll Flanders
Based on Daniel Defoe’s novel of Moll Flanders, this film follows her life until her seventies. As the subtitle states: “She lived an exciting and exciting life until then – one filled with romance, intrigue, thievery and money laundering; spending twelve years fugitive from Newgate Prison before marrying five times (one to her brother!) over 243 travelers years in Virginia before finally growing Rich, Living Honest Lives Honest and Dying Penitent”.
Moll begins her career in London as an apprentice to a brothel madam where she quickly becomes adept in her craft. Soon thereafter, she begins running cons to generate enough funds to support Jemmy whom she deeply cares for and supports financially. Additionally, Moll becomes involved with various criminal enterprises including smuggling operations, highwayman activities, as well as being part of James II of England’s 1685 plot against himself!
Moll finds herself involved in multiple relationships and marries an elder brother whom she loves but who only cares about his money. After deceptions designed to conceal this truth are revealed too late, he dies leaving Moll behind with his family.
Pen Den-sham directed this 1996 film that stars Robin Wright as Moll, Morgan Freeman as Hibble, and Stockard Channing as Mrs. Allworthy – not an exact adaptation of the novel but still offers an entertaining glimpse of life in 18th century London vice-ridden. Available for DVD purchase on Amazon and other retailers. Alex Kingston gives an outstanding performance as Moll. She and Morgan Freeman work well together.
Robin Wright in She’s So Lovely
She’s So Lovely draws its inspiration from a screenplay by John Cassavetes (deceased), which his son Nick later secured the film rights to it after his passing and cast Sean Penn and Robin Wright as protagonists; Gena Rowlands who appeared in numerous previous Cassavetes films also lends support as one of two wives in this production.
But Shes So Lovely seems uncertain about what type of movie it wants to be; its narrative shifts between drama, romance, and romantic comedy all at the same time, leaving too many elements competing for attention and making for an incoherent viewing experience – an unfortunate oversight considering its compelling plotline.
Not as in-depth as Cassavetes’s intimate portraits of husbands and wives, The Innocents nevertheless depicts a vivid picture of flophouses and skid-row dives as well as Eddie’s irrational behavior toward Maureen; some critics have even complained about its acting; however, Penn and Wright give remarkable performances, while Harry Dean Stanton plays his usual excellent part as an unsavory bartender who attempts to help Eddie regain his composure after being released from a mental institution
However, the second half of She So Lovely becomes so unbelievable that it veers into sitcom territory and loses some of its momentum. Still, for those willing to let Shes So Lovely shake them up without fearing its rough edges and embrace Penn, Wright, and Rowlands’ talents fully, Shes So Lovely remains a worthwhile viewing experience – though repeat viewings may be necessary to fully appreciate its meaning.
Robin Wright in The Pledge
Wright committed her success with The Princess Bride to use her good looks and blond locks as assets in her career. She quickly abandoned one-dimensional female roles that had become typical early on, quickly establishing herself as an accomplished character actress who quickly transitioned into darker and more mature parts in films like State of Grace and The Pledge.
The Pledge is an eye-opening film that offers an unsettling examination of America’s past through the most revered oath of allegiance: the pledge. Additionally, this film investigates some of the contentious issues surrounding its creation (for instance whether Francis Bellamy wrote it? There has long been debate as it originally didn’t include “under God”.).
Bellamy’s original pledge appeared in an 1892 edition of Youth’s Companion magazine edited by James B. Upham, with whom Upham attributed its authorship. But historians disagree, with some noting a May 1892 newspaper clipping crediting it instead to former Woman’s Relief Corps President Sarah Elizabeth Cochran.
Schools for years required students to stand during the pledge of allegiance, but in 1954 when Congress included “under God”, many lawsuits were filed by atheists and Jehovah’s Witnesses claiming it to be unconstitutionally endorsing monotheism.
Jack Nicholson gives an outstanding performance in The Pledge as a police detective determined to find an elusive serial killer. While this could easily have become another generic cop-hunts-a-serial-killer movie, director Sean Penn instead steers it in an exciting direction due to an impressive cast including Benicio Del Toro, Helen Mirren, Mickey Rourke, and Harry Dean Stanton.
House of Cards
House of Cards’ fifth season, depicting Congressman Frank Underwood and his equally unscrupulous wife Claire is both fascinating and uneventful. Although it marks Beau Willimon’s absence as series creator, its pace remains strong while dialogue is often inelegant but never lacking ideas; Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright give outstanding performances that highlight their characters despite this absence.
House of Cards has never truly managed to break free from its central character, Frank Underwood. From its inception, House of Cards has always been about the pursuit of power; whether that means Frank scheming with Russians in season three or trying to gain control over a KKK scandal in season four; every storyline revolves around him and his pursuit of control.
That doesn’t make the show less than excellent, however; its one-trick pony nature does leave viewers wanting more. Seasons 1 through 4 were excellent in every way: gripping drama that never felt mawkish or shoehorned into place, nail-biting suspense, engaging characters (particularly Claire), and writing that wasn’t overtly didactic, which can often be the case in modern TV dramas.
But House of Cards ran into its existential crisis after original star Kevin Spacey was fired over sexual assault allegations. It quickly became evident that any attempts at revamping the series to make it work without him would be impossible, leading to an underwhelming final season despite its better-than-anticipated performance; something House of Cards should have earned better of.