Glamorous movie actresses often win respect through highly unflattering roles: Jessica Lange ranting and raving as the mentally ill starlet in Frances (1982), Nicole Kidman wearing dowdy outfits and a prosthetic nose as Virginia Woolf in The Hours (2002), Charlize Theron grunging out as trailer-trash serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003). Playing an unattractive woman has certainly been the ticket this year for Jennifer Aniston, whom I knew as a hairstyle before I knew her as a performer: as the scarred, brittle, nasty survivor of a horrific car accident in Daniel Barnz’s indie drama Cake, she’s collected best actress nominations from the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild, and the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Aniston is the only alumnus of the long-running NBC sitcom Friends who graduated to a serious movie career; now 46 years old in a business that spits out middle-aged women, she threatens to become a serious talent in noncomedic roles. Continue reading >>