For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been drawn to the girls that were a little unstable, troubled if you will. I guess I’ve always been bored with the nice, emotionally stable woman, and often I’ve paid a price for this attraction. The women I’m drawn too in film are no different.
This is a list of my 10 favorite emotionally disturbed, troubled, and wounded female characters, women whom I’d more than likely fall for, and wind up being thrown to the wolves. Please forgive me for taking personal license in assuming what a relationship would be with them.
10. Brigitte Bardot as Camille Javal in Contempt (Godard, 1963)
Camille and I would be very happy together, until I foolishly allowed her to spend some time with a sleazy associate of mine. Feeling betrayed, she would decide she no longer loved me, without telling me why, then she’d spitefully leave me for the sleazy associate.
9. Gena Rowlands as Jeannie Rapp in Faces (Cassavetes, 1968)
Jeannie would more than likely seek me out in some seedy bar, and we’d hit it off nicely. She’d take me home and tell me everything I wanted to hear with great sincerity, and I would tell her all the sweet things she needed to hear as well. But in the morning, she’d be overcome with remorse in remembering what she was, as she saw me to the door.
8. Shirley Maclaine as Fran Kubelik in The Apartment (Wilder, 1960)
Fran might be the only woman on this list that I would probably end up being happy with, but that is after a myriad of obstacles to get through, most notably being her on again off again relationship with a married man, and a failed suicide attempt.
7. Lynn Carlin as Maria Forst in Faces (Cassavetes, 1968)
Despite my best instincts I would pursue Maria. Eventually, she would reluctantly give into my advances, before breaking down with guilt over her betrayal of her loveless marriage. Then her crazy and unhappy husband would come home.
6. Barbara Stanwyck as Lily Powers in Baby Face (Green, 1933)
My relationship with Lily would be quite nice. We would get along just fine, and be very happy together, until my bank account was empty, and she was sleeping with my boss.
5. Jeanne Moreau as Catherine in Jules et Jim (Truffaut, 1962)
This would be the picture of a perfect relationship. Until Catherine decided she loved my best friend, and then decided she didn’t, and then decided she loved another guy, but didn’t really love him but she just liked the idea of him loving her, and then decided she loved my best friend again, and decided she didn’t, and then decided…
4. Bibi Andersson as Alma in Persona (Bergman, 1966)
Alma’s love would begin to blossom into a strange obsession. So consumed with me she would begin to mistake herself for her lover. Her jealousy, obsession, and loss of self would send her into a mad tailspin. But she is really pretty, and she gets along well with my friends, so I think I’ll stick it out with her.
3. Jean Seberg as Patricia Franchini in Breathless (Godard, 1960)
After a long courtship, and a few lucky flings Patricia would finally decide to be with me. But soon my rebellious ways and bad boy antics would cause her to question her decision. Eventually, she would reluctantly decide she didn’t love me, and curse herself for her taste in men.
2. Kathleen Byron as Sister Ruth in Black Narcissus (Powell and Pressburger, 1947)
Nothing good can ever come out of a young woman abandoning her devotion for god and throwing herself at a man. Sister Ruth is a very jealous and unstable woman who seems capable of anything in order to feed her wants and desires. Would I be foolish enough to be lured by her?
1. Nastassja Kinski as Jane Henderson in Paris, Texas (Wenders, 1984)
A heartbroken woman, haunted by ghosts of her past. Her’s is a fleeting affection like a shadow or a whisper.