Top 5 Movie Lolitas
Stoker, the latest offering from critically acclaimed filmmaker Park Chan-wook, director of the now classic Oldboy, features one of cinema’s favorite tropes – a Lolita. Named for Vladimir Nabovkov’s title characer, Lolita has become the catch-all term for the slightly too-young seductress. The screen is strewn with sexually precocious young girls who seem all innocence on the surface but harbor a secret femme fatale all the while. To mark the Blu-ray release of Stoker, here are the…
Top 5 Movie Lolitas
The Virgin Suicides – Kirsten Dunst
Part innocent teen, part mysterious seductress, Kirsten Dunst is all Lolita as Lux Lisbon in Sofia Coppola’s directorial debut The Virgin Suicides. All fragile teen on the one hand and sexy seductress on the other, she wraps men around her finger, teases, seduces and finally fools her family and the rest of the neighborhood boys into realizing the true extent of her tragic plans.
American Beauty – Mena Suvari
American Beauty tells the story of a suburban father (Kevin Spacey) who snaps when he becomes disgusted with his stale, repetitive existence. He quits his job and begins a regression into young adulthood, lifting weights, smoking pot, doing nothing, and discovering the overflowing sexuality of his 16-year-old daughter’s best friend, Angela (Mena Suvari). Like the film itself, Mena’s performance is at first dark, somewhat comic, clichéd yet intelligent, scandalous, emotional, and without question one of the most seductive teenage performances of all time.
Taxi Driver – Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster made a huge impact in her performance as 12 year old prostitute in Martin Scorsese’s classic Taxi Driver (1976). Playing opposite the equally mesmerizing Robert De Niro, the film really hit its stride when Iris steps into Travis Bickle’s cab in an attempt to escape her pimp (Harvey Keitel). The astonishing thing about Foster’s version of a Lolita is that she truly carries herself like a hardened adult, someone who has lived twice the life of any girl her age. This is not a child actress acting adult-like in an amusing way, but a child conveying the utter loss of childhood.
Kick Ass – Chloë Moretz
When Kick-Ass was released in April 2010, everybody left the theater thinking about Hit Girl. Chloë Moretz’s performance as Hit Girl might not be the most obvious Lolita choice. She doesn’t revert to a blatant manipulation of female sexuality but instead delivers one of the most badass female performances in recent memory. In the spirit of strong being sexy, I give Chloe Morentz and Hit Girl an honorary Lolita title.
Lolita – Sue Lyon
Then of course there’s Lolita herself. “How could they make a movie out of Lolita?” screamed the print ads to Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 movie. By changing the 12-year-old object of Humbert’s lust into a 15-year-old, that’s how. Selected to portray Vladimir Nabokov’s celebrated nymphet was Sue Lyon. The original novel caused no end of scandal by detailing the romance between a middle-aged intellectual and a 12-year-old girl, and Lyon perfectly embodied the beautiful but crude, young but not so innocent nymphet of Humbert’s fantasies.