Top 5 Vera Farmiga Films and TV Shows
Vera Farmiga, the reigning queen of the slasher genre, is a remarkably underappreciated performer. Farmiga, perhaps best known for her portrayal of real-life paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren in The Conjuring films, has appeared in a wide variety of horror films and television series throughout her career.
The actress has a knack for giving her (often unrelatable, if not downright unlikeable) characters some humanity, and she can make the audience jump out of their seats. Lorraine is a paranormal investigator, but she's also a worried mom and a fiery swooner. The Bates Motel's Norma is more than just a crazed mother; she's also a tough survivor and fierce protector. This article is a tribute to the actress, who will soon be seen in the Apple TV series Five Days At Memorial, by ranking her five best film and television appearances.
2008 film adaptation of the novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a Mark Herman-directed adaptation of the John Boyne novel of the same name. It follows the lives of two young men, Jewish Shmuel (Jack Scanlon) and German Bruno (Asa Butterfield), whose father is a commandant at a concentration camp, during World War II. An unnatural bond forms between the two despite being separated by a fence and sharp objects.
Elsa, Farmiga's character in the film, is the mom to Bruno and his sister Gretel (Amber Beattie). Elsa is a mild-mannered woman who is afraid to disobey her husband and country, despite the fact that she is married to Ralf (David Thewlis), a camp commandment. Farmiga has a relatively small role as Elsa, but her emotional breakdown at the film's conclusion is memorable.
Orphan, Jaume Collet-Serra's cult classic about a mysterious nine-year-old girl and her loving adoptive family, marked Farmiga's first foray into the horror genre. In the wake of the tragic loss of their third child, Kate (Farmiga) and John (Peter Sarsgaard) Coleman decide to adopt little Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) from the local orphanage. Instead of being warm and welcoming to Esther's new siblings, the family she just moved into treats her like an outsider, bullying and blaming them for her own misdeeds. After learning of Esther's bad behavior, Kate investigates her daughter and discovers shocking details.
Farmiga shines in the role of a fiercely protective mom. The actress, a mother of two, is a natural in the role, handling both the expected scary moments and some unexpectedly tender ones. Kate's transformation from silently suffering in fear of Esther (she tells her husband her worries, but he reprimands her) to confidently standing up for herself is a delight to watch unfold. Her parting words to Esther will leave viewers punching the air in jubilation.
Scary Movie 3: The Conjuring (2013)
There's something special about each installment of The Conjuring, but nothing quite like the original. The Conjuring, directed by James Wan, stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed and Lorraine Warren, real-life paranormal investigators. Although the Warrens have been involved in numerous high-profile cases (including the one that inspired Stuart Rosenberg's The Amityville Horror), the haunting of the Perron family is the subject of this film. The Perrons' 18th-century farmhouse is haunted by a demon after they move in, and when one of their own is possessed by the evil spirit, the Warrens are their only hope.
The Conjuring is an excellent horror film in every respect. Despite being based on a well-known case and engaging in cliches, it is entertaining, exciting, and wholly original. But the real magic happens when Farmiga and Wilson share the screen together. Audiences will believe the two actors are a married couple and will laugh at one moment and swoon at the next. Farmiga has previously stated that The Conjuring is more than just a horror movie. Ultimately, though, it's a love story, and she and Wilson give it their all to tell a fantastic one.
2013–2017: Bates Motel
The Bates Motel on A&E follows Norma (Farmiga) and Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore), a mother and son trying to start over in the fictional town of White Pine Bay, based on Robert Bloch's 1959 novel Psycho (made famous by Alfred Hitchcock's film adaptation). Norma thinks the worst is over after the death of her husband and the opening of their motel with his money, but when Norman's mental health starts to decline, she begins to doubt this. Norma has a lot on their plate already between hosting guests and paying the bills, but now they have to deal with the police officer on their back and the mounting body count.
Farmiga's finest hour came in Bates Motel. This is a TV show, not a movie, so she has a lot more opportunities to show off her acting chops (five seasons' worth, to be exact), and she has an incredible range. Farmiga does a wonderful job of capturing Norma Bates' layered personality, which includes being sweet and nurturing at times and violent and unhinged at others. Farmiga prevents the audience from instantly detesting her character, Norma, which they might do if another actress were cast in the role. Her special ability is empathy.
They Won't Believe Their Eyes (2019)
When They See Us, a Netflix original film based on the tragic Central Park jogger case of 1989, tells the story of five Harlem boys who were wrongfully accused of assaulting and raping a woman in New York City's Central Park. These young men, all of African-American or Latino descent, are known as the Central Park Five. They are: Kevin Richardson (Asante Blackk), Raymond Santana (Marquis Rodriguez), Antron McCray (Caleel Harris), Yusef Salaam (Ethan Herisse), and Korey Wise (Jharrel Jerome). The boys were first questioned in the spring of 1989, and they were finally cleared in 2002, making the series' total run time a full quarter of a century.
Farmiga's role as Elizabeth Lederer, the lead prosecutor in the Central Park jogger case, is very different from her usual ones. Elizabeth, in contrast to the aforementioned characters, is a vile person with very few redeeming qualities. She keeps prosecuting them even though she knows the boy is innocent, and she shows no remorse for her actions. Farmiga's performance as Elizabeth, in which she abandons her usual warmth and dons a tightly permed wig, is sure to stir up the crowds.
In related news, Jenna Ortega will be the most terrifying actress of 2022.
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