The Academy loves films like these
May 4, 2009 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Scene Suggestions Filter: Please suggest scenes from modern movies or plays, for two female characters, where one or both have an "impediment"- cognitive handicap, physical disability, or intoxication. More specifics included.

Helping a friend find scenes for a Meisner acting class that's almost all females. She needs strong scenes from movies and plays that fit these criteria:

Scene is for two women
Age range for both women is 17-35
Language is modern English, not too period (1950s is probably as early as it can go, 70s-present is better)
Scene is important or climactic in the structure of the story
One or both women must have an "impediment" during the scene

(Disclaimer: "Impediment" is a politically incorrect term that lumps together a whole lot of unrelated things as a type of acting challenge. I apologize for its lumpiness: please don't derail the thread with a discussion of how it's not a great term. For what it's worth, I don't like it either, but it's the Meisner Technique term for a kind of practice has won a lot of actors a lot of Oscars, and I couldn't think of any succinct way to re-phrase it. Basically the idea is to give the actors something consistent and physical or verbal to research, then portray throughout the scene, and that interferes with the character's ability to get what they want. I really don't mean to offend anyone, and I apologize in advance for using a term that's making me cringe.)

The "impediment" can be:
A physical disability (ie, blindness or cerebral palsy)
A mental disability
A mental illness
Alcohol or drug intoxication

Good scenes for men include stuff from Rain Man or My Left Foot.
Can you think of any good scenes for two women?
So far we have The Miracle Worker and a few more.
Thanks in advance
posted by pseudostrabismus to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Many of the scenes from Girl, Interrupted would be helpful. Susanna is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Lisa as a sociopath.
posted by amicamentis at 1:00 PM on May 4, 2009

Best answer: A Streetcar Named Desire has several great scenes between Stella and her sister Blanche, the latter having an unspecified nervous condition which she medicates with alcohol.
posted by hermitosis at 1:06 PM on May 4, 2009

Best answer: See also Suddenly, Last Summer. Excellent scenes between Katherine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor plays her niece, locked in an asylum and awaiting a lobotomy. The aunt ain't screwed down so tight either.

And Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, in which one sister is insane and the other is paralyzed.
posted by hermitosis at 1:08 PM on May 4, 2009

Best answer: Films Involving Disabilities is a comprehensive site that lists films alphabetically according to specific handicap (autism, blindness, AIDS, stuttering, et cetera). You would have to be familiar with the film itself, of course, but it could provide you with a good starting point.
posted by amicamentis at 1:12 PM on May 4, 2009

Best answer: Sally Field's scenes with Joanne Woodward in Sybil.

Sissy Spacek and Shelley Duvall in Robert Altman's Three Women.

I'm starting to see a weird pattern here in my DVD collection...
posted by hermitosis at 1:15 PM on May 4, 2009

Couldn't you just pick any scene with two women and give the characters disabilities, even thought they didn't have them in the original script? (Sorry if I'm missing the point.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:29 PM on May 4, 2009

Not an Academy Award-caliber film (in fact, I think it was nominated for a Razzie or two), but in The Other Sister, Juliette Lewis plays a mentally challenged young women who battles with her mother (Diane Keaton) for independence. I think one later scene had Lewis declaring that she can't do everything that her other sisters can, but that she "can LOVE!!"
posted by twoporedomain at 1:32 PM on May 4, 2009

The Other Sister
Pauline and Paulette
posted by Rykey at 1:32 PM on May 4, 2009

Best answer: Your movie is: Hilary and Jackie. Excellent acting.
posted by Rumple at 3:39 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There are some scenes in the first episode of Ricky Gervais's "Extras" between two sisters, one of whom has cerebral palsy.

The whole script of "'night, Mother" is between a mother and a grown daughter. I don't believe that it's stated that the daughter has any disabilities, but I seem to remember that it could easily be played that way. (I've read it but never seen it.)
posted by Clambone at 3:51 PM on May 4, 2009

Oh, and I really love the scene in "Monster" where Charlize Theron tries to explain to Christina Ricci why it was OK for her to be killing johns and taking their stuff. This isn't exactly what you're looking for. However, I thought that Charlize Theron, the screenwriter and the director did a terrific job capturing a very difficult character. Here was a person who was (a) a sociopath, and (b) not necessarily mentally challenged as such, but clearly not skilled enough to function in society as an independent adult, and furious about it.
posted by Clambone at 3:56 PM on May 4, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks to those who also suggested creative ways to get around the requirements- Meisner was apparently pretty sticklery on the definition of "impediment", though, so friend wanted to go by the book.

We've got some good ones here- my pal was pleased- so thank you all for your suggestions!
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:40 PM on May 4, 2009

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