Maverick Spirit Award Event: Andie MacDowell with Screening of Love After Love
Film Info
Type of Film/Event:Event

This Maverick Spirit Award Event includes a screening of Love After Love, a conversation with Andie MacDowell, and the award presentation.

The look has hardly changed a bit over the years. Those undeniably inviting eyes, framed by the fine, linear symmetry of the brows, the lustrous mane of hair, the beaming smile that flashes hints of wisdom and whimsy. There’s no mistaking Andie MacDowell. Born Rosalie Anderson MacDowell in Gaffney, South Carolina, she was barely twenty years old when modeling agencies noticed her striking looks and poise. She eventually signed with Elite Model Management in New York and went on to model for Vogue magazine as well as for high-end fashion ad campaigns (Yves Saint Laurent, Armani, L’Oreal, and Calvin Klein). Her successful modeling exposure soon began attracting filmmakers and it wasn’t long before she smoothly shifted gears to begin an acting career, studying “the method” at the legendary Actors Studio.

Since her 1984 debut, as Jane, in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, MacDowell has honed her craft and displayed her talent in a unique package which few other actors can match. The relative fluff of Greystoke belied the extent of MacDowell’s acting chops, but she left no doubt in Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies, and Videotape. As unhappily married Ann Mullany, McDowell took the dizzying character arc and imbued it with detailed nuance that made her rendering of Ann not only powerful, but also entirely believable. It was an unforgettable, breakout performance that wowed both audiences and critics alike, garnering an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress, as well as numerous Best Actress nominations (Golden Globe – Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama, National Society of Film Critics – Best Actress, New York Film Critics Circle – Best Actress).

As an actor now being sought by high profile directors and cast in leading roles, MacDowell made the most of her opportunity to showcase the wide range of her talent and craft. Acting in a stellar ensemble, MacDowell more than held her own in Robert Altman’s Short Cuts, and demonstrated an endearing facility for romantic comedy in Mike Newell’s Four Weddings and A Funeral, (opposite Hugh Grant), and Peter Weir’s Green Card. Though these performances were certainly noteworthy, it was her portrayal of TV producer Rita Hanson (opposite Bill Murray’s weatherman Phil Connors) in Harold Ramis’s smash hit Groundhog Day that catapulted her into film acting’s upper echelon.

After she’d reached the pinnacle of cinematic success, MacDowell decided to take a step back and spend more time at home with her son Justin and two daughters, Rainey (now a successful country music performer) and Sarah, (an actor recently in HBO’s The Leftovers). MacDowell continued to act, but much less than before. After her children had grown, she took roles in a couple of TV series (Jane by Design and Cedar Cove), but wasn’t quite able to find the meaty parts she was looking for, ones that would stoke her creative fires.

Then along came the role of Suzanne in first-time director Russell Harbaugh’s Love After Love, a wrenching journey across the emotionally charged landscape of family turmoil following the death of its patriarch. MacDowell finally had the part she’d long been seeking. As she told, “The process (making Love After Love) was unique for me, and I’ve been doing this (acting) for a long time. But I’ve never had the opportunity to work in this way, and I am just so grateful I was given this opportunity to play a complex character. I’ve been waiting for something like this for such a long time. It was so delicate, the way that we worked, and you see in the very beginning, my character is bold and beautiful and dynamic and sexy and secure and loving.” Considering MacDowell’s consummate skill and creativity that bring this tremendously interesting and complicated character to life, that’s not at all surprising. – P.D. Crane