When considering the list of actors and actresses overdue for an Oscar, there are few that hit like Glenn Close. Astonishingly, the talented and versatile performer has never had her name read from the envelope at the Academy Awards despite being nominated eight times over the course of her career. Close has been in some of the most talked about movies of the past 40 years, whether it’s timeless classics like The Big Chill, bone-chilling psychological thrillers like Fatal Attraction, or even massive action movies like Air Force One.
If you want to take a trip down memory lane and watch the best Glenn Close movies, then you have come to the right place, because we’re about to break down 12 of her most iconic films, and where you can watch them streaming and through various other means.
Fatal Attraction (1987)
New York Lawyer Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) bites off more than he can chew when he begins an extramarital relationship with book editor Alex Forrest, though he doesn’t know it at the time. Upon breaking off the affair, Dan finds himself caught in the middle of Alex’s mental breakdown, a downward spiral that includes aggression, obsessive behavior, stalking, and a full-on attack on his family and their home.
Despite not being a fan of the film’s ending, Glenn Close provided a terrifying and unforgettable performance in 1987’s Fatal Attraction, one that we’re still discussing all these years later.
The Big Chill (1983)
When a group of college friends who haven’t seen one another in years reunite to attend the funeral of a dear friend (played by Kevin Costner, though his scenes were cut), they take a trip down memory lane and revisit why they were all so close and what drove them apart. The reunion is extended when two of the friends (played by Glenn Close and Kevin Kline) host the group over an extended weekend.
What is there not to love about the cast (Tom Berenger, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Mary Kay Place, Meg Tilly, JoBeth Williams), story, and rocking soundtrack of The Big Chill? This movie will make you laugh, cry, and want to call those old buddies just to check in.
Albert Nobbs (2011)
Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) is a quiet, efficient, and generally liked butler living and working in 19th-century Ireland, but there is one secret he cannot afford to have exposed, and that is that he is actually a woman. In an attempt to keep up the charade and not have his secret exposed, Albert begins to court Helen Dawes (Mia Wasikowska), a young maid whom he hopes will play along.
Glenn Close was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her portrayal of the titular character in Albert Nobbs, a role she first played on stage years earlier and spent a great deal of time and energy getting off the ground, according to The Irish Times.
The Wife (2018)
As her husband, Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce) is preparing to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, the quiet and reserved Joan Castleman (Glenn Close) has a bit of a personal crisis and begins to recount their 40-year marriage, the sacrifices she has made, and all of the betrayals that have nearly broken them apart.
Glenn Close won her first Golden Globe in the Film category (third overall) for her commanding performance in The Wife, a movie that also earned her an Academy Award nomination for her tremendous portrayal of a woman in crisis.
The Paper (1994)
When interviewing for a new job at a more prestigious New York City newspaper, New York Sun metro editor Henry Hackett (Michael Keaton) stumbles across a massive scoop, one that could prevent two Black teenagers from going to prison for a crime they did not commit. But, there is only one problem: his new boss and nemesis, Alicia Clark (Glenn Close), doesn’t want to hold the presses and run the corrected story for fear of hurting the paper’s bottom line.
The 1994 dramedy The Paper is one of the best journalism movies of the past 30 years, thanks in part to the performances from Glenn Close, Michael Keaton, and the rest of the outstanding cast.
Air Force One (1997)
The most high-profile plane in the sky becomes the center of the world when terrorists hijack Air Force One and hold its passengers, including President James Marshall (Harrison Ford), hostage in hopes of securing the release of a deposed dictator. But, there is one thing Ivan Korshunov (Gary Oldman) and the rest of his cronies don’t take into account: a president willing to fight back.
As great as the in-air drama is in Air Force One, it’s the situation on the ground with Vice President Kathryn Bennett (Glenn Close) that gives the movie a lot of heart. Plus, the movie makes the presidential line of succession a great plot device.
Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
Two bitterly jealous members of high society in pre-French Revolution Paris, Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close) and Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovich) formulate a plan to get back at those who have slighted them in the past, a scheme that could potentially ruin not only the love lives of their enemies, but practically every aspect of their existence before it’s over and done.
Despite featuring some of the most self-centered and opportunistic characters you’ll meet just about anywhere, Dangerous Liaisons is a movie you can’t help but watch, even if you cringe at the anxiety-inducing drama of it all.
Reversal Of Fortune (1990)
When New York socialite Sunny von Bülow (Glenn Close) goes into diabetic shock following a Christmas party, she falls into a coma and is on the verge of death. Her husband, Claus von Bülow (Jeremy Irons) is charged with attempted murder even though he makes many claims of his innocence. When all else fails, the accused man turns to Alan Dershowitz and makes a deal the legendary attorney can’t turn down.
Though mostly remembered for Jeremy Irons’ Oscar-winning performance, Glenn Close is at the center of Reversal of Fortune’s intricate narrative and even provides the film’s narration throughout.
Cookie’s Fortune (1999)
When her aunt commits suicide, Camille Dixon (Glenn Close) puts into motion a plan that could prove to be more trouble than it’s worth. To make it look as if her Aunt Cookie (Patricia Neal) didn’t kill herself, Camille makes it appear as if the elderly woman was murdered in her own home as part of a botched robbery. But, then the real drama, especially for one innocent man, truly begins.
The 1999 black comedy Cookie’s Fortune features Glenn Close playing one of her most memorable and hated characters, one who will do anything to make her life easier, even if everyone around her pays the price.
The World According To Garp (1982)
Desperate for a child but not a husband, Jenny Fields (Glenn Close) has sex with a dying soldier during World War II and later gives birth to T.S. Garp (played later by Robin Williams). When Garp grows up, the pair travel to Europe where they both find success writing, Garp with fiction, Jenny with a semi-autobiographical book that becomes a feminist sensation. The notoriety, however, brings conflict and danger to their lives, and someone will have to pay.
Glenn Close made her feature film debut in 1982 with The World According to Garp, a performance that would kickstart one of the most notable runs in Hollywood in the past 40 years.
The Natural (1984)
Years after he is nearly killed by a gunshot to the stomach and ending his pitching career before it even starts, Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) is given a second shot at baseball glory when he signs with the New York Knights. With his trusty bat “Wonderboy,” Hobbs becomes a monster at the plate and hits his team into first place. But, Hobbs’ life soon becomes complicated when ghosts of his past (including the gunshot) come back from out of nowhere.
In addition to being one of the best sports movies of all time, The Natural also features a moving love story involving Roy Hobbs and his old girlfriend, Iris Gaines (Glenn Close), a woman who comes back into his life and helps in more ways than one.
101 Dalmatians (1996)
Not willing to accept “no” for an answer, Cruella De Vil (Glenn Close) decides to take off the gloves and do everything in her power to get her hands on a litter of dalmatian puppies. While De Vil’s plan first appears to be a success, she is met by the puppies’ parents, their owners, and other creatures in this live-action adaptation of a Disney classic.
It is hard to imagine anyone else playing Cruella De Vil in the 1996 live-action version of 101 Dalmatians besides Glenn Close. Throughout this charming and fun movie, Close proves that she was born for this role.
This is just barely scratching the surface of all the great Glenn Close movies, as she has given memorable performances in Tarzan, Hillbilly Elegy, and even Guardians of the Galaxy, to name only a few. With other projects in the works, there’s a good chance you’ll see Close’s name come up in some of the upcoming 2022 movies.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.