Actors’ Spotlight #33: Marisa Tomei

A photo of a brown-haired woman wearing a white dress.

Marisa Tomei (born December 4, 1964) is an American actress. In a career spanning three decades, Tomei had initial success in films as a young actress, followed by a series of unsuccessful films, then a resurgence with a series of critically acclaimed films. Following her work on the television series As the World Turns, she came to prominence as a cast member on The Cosby Show spin-off A Different World in 1987. After having minor roles in a few films, she came to international attention in 1992 with the comedy My Cousin Vinny, for which she received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Of the many films in which Tomei has appeared, her most commercially successful ones to date are What Women Want (2000), Anger Management (2003), Wild Hogs (2007), and Parental Guidance (2012), all of which have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office. She received critical acclaim for her performances in films such as Untamed Heart (1993), The Paper (1994), Unhook the Stars (1996), Slums of Beverly Hills (1998), In the Bedroom (2001) (for which she received her second Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress), Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007), The Wrestler (2008) (for which she received her third Academy Award nomination), Cyrus (2010), and Love Is Strange (2014). She has also been cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Aunt May and has appeared in Captain America: Civil War (2016) and will appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017).

Tomei has also done substantial work in theater. She was formerly involved with the Naked Angels Theatre Company and received acclaim for her performance in plays like Daughters (1986), Wait Until Dark (1998), Top Girls (2008), for which she received a nomination for Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, and The Realistic Joneses (2014), for which she received a special award at Drama Desk Awards.

Marisa Tomei is one of those actress that just gets better with age, not just in terms of acting but in terms of beauty too, she’s 51 years old and she looks sexier than she has ever been in her entire life, like I don’t know what it is, but she just looks amazing for her age.

In terms of the film works she’s attached to herself too, there are good films she’s attached herself to and then there’s those bad films she’s attached to, let’s look at those real quick. These are the 5 worst Marisa Tomei movies:

5. War, Inc.

A pretty lame comedy that was suppose to satirize the military and try to do kind of a Lord Of War style comedy but it just fails miserably with a lousy script, terrible acting from usually reliable names, and just a mediocre setup.

4. The Guru

Kind of a lame attempt at a sex comedy, there’s nothing about this movie that really stands up on its’ own merits, there’s nothing funny about it, there’s nothing memorable about it, it’s just a mess of a film.

3. Playing For Keeps

One of Tomei’s earliest film roles, the film doesn’t work because the writing and acting is pretty cliché and lackluster. Interesting fact about this movie, it was written and directed by Bob & Harvey Weinstein when they were still working at Miramax.

2. The Watcher

Co-star Keanu Reeves has stated that he was not interested in the script but was forced into doing the film when a friend forged his signature on a contract…that should tell you how bad this movie is. Another reason, this was dumped on Labor Day Weekend in 2000 and directed by somebody who has not directed a feature since.

and the #1 worst Marisa Tomei movie is…

Love The Coopers

Or as I like to call it, White People Problems 67 because let’s be honest, that’s exactly what this movie is, nothing but white people with the most lamest of problems ever especially involved with Christmas.

Those are the worst, now let’s look at the best films she’s in:

5. What Women Want

Having one of the bigger supporting roles in this movie, this movie was surprisingly really funny with Mel Gibson & Helen Hunt working off each other nicely and Tomei leading a pretty impressive all-star supporting cast.

4. Only You

Yeah, probably didn’t know that Aunt May and Tony Stark were previously in a relationship together…in this movie…and in Chaplin too. But yeah, you know why the chemistry between both of them worked so well in Civil War, Only You is the reason why.

3. The Lincoln Lawyer

The movie that was the first turning point for Matthew McConaughey’s acting career that it has become now and Tomei has a great supporting turn in this.

2. The Wrestler

A solid performance that earned Tomei a well deserved Oscar…and she should’ve easily won…playing a stripper who befriends Mickey Rourke’s character and they have a relationship together.

and the #1 best Marisa Tomei movie is…

My Cousin Vinny

The funny thing about this movie is that Marisa Tomei is just one of the many reasons why this movie works so well as it does, her chemistry with Joe Pesci works so well. The oddest thing is that she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for this movie and when you look at who she was up against that year, her performance was surprisingly the strongest one of the whole bunch and the only American nominated in the category too.

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