Re: cool atheist scientist chick

From: Jim Fehlinger (
Date: Thu Apr 26 2001 - 18:50:45 MDT

Mark Plus wrote:
> The more times I watch _Contact_, the more I like Jodie Foster's portrayal
> of radio astronomer Eleanor Arroway...

Yes, I entirely agree with you. Foster's performance is what
gives this movie its legs, for me. In fact, I'll go so far
as to admit that I have a bit of a crush on the Foster/Arroway
persona of this film, even though I'm a gay man (and no, my name
isn't really Hinckley, and I'm not planning any assassinations,
Presidential or otherwise ;->).

It really is a tribute to Ms. Foster's abilities as an actress
that she can do blazing intelligence, in _Contact_ (and I guess
in _Silence of the Lambs_, too) as well as she can do any other
sort of character -- the feral woman in _Nell_, say. Though,
come to think of it, she has been gravitating toward the brainy
roles, hasn't she? -- _Maverick_ comes to mind (I haven't seen
_Anna and the King_).

But it's still an illusion, created by the smoke and mirrors
of movie-making magic, and Ms. Foster's acting talents (*). In Foster's
supplementary audio track on the _Contact_ DVD, she admits not being
able to memorize all the technical jargon that Arroway has to spout --
Foster doesn't have the requisite scientific background to have
a mnemonic framework for that kind of dialog, so she jokes that
she relied on strategically-placed cue cards a lot more than she's
used to doing. Doesn't detract a whit from her performance, though.

> If only there were (more?) women like that in real life...

I actually do know somebody like that in real life. A mathematician
who went to Harvard, and stuff. She doesn't post to the Extropians',
but she reads it over my shoulder sometimes, so to speak.
She's even talked about coming to Extro 5 in June, if she can
work it into her schedule (and arrange for the care of her
4- and 6-year-old sons).

Jim F.

(*) Actors can do amazing things. I'm still blown away by
David McCallum's portrayal of a **trans**-human in the old
_Outer Limits_ episode "The Sixth Finger". Of course, having
a Shakespeare-trained British accent goes a long way if
you're trying to do superintelligence ;-> .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:59 MDT