Kristen Stewart says she’s only made about five good movies and she named two of them – here’s the two she thinks are amongst her best and what the other three movies might be. Stewart began working in Hollywood when she was very young, earning an uncredited role in The Flinstones in Viva Rock Vegas and another minor role in The Safety of Objects before a breakout role opposite Jodie Foster in David Fincher’s chamber piece thriller movie Panic Room. Stewart would go on to star in several more films, including Catch That Kid, Speak, Into the Wild, Zathura, and In The Land of Women before her career trajectory changed forever in 2008.
Stewart was cast as Bella Swan in Twilight, the adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling vampire romance novel. In rapid succession, Stewart would reprise the role in three more films from 2009 to 2012, capping off the blockbuster run with 2012’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. Despite the fact that the Twilight movies were some of the most successful YA adaptations of the early 2010s, both Stewart and her co-star Robert Pattinson were derided for their performances as tortured teens Bella and Edward.
Over the next decade, Stewart would forgo starring in another blockbuster franchise, choosing instead to focus on smaller indie films that put on display her true prowess as an actor. Despite the fact that she’s still fighting to shake off the Twilight reputation, she is largely considered to be one of the most interesting (if not one of the greatest) actresses working today. Still, if Stewart was asked, it’s unclear if she would agree. In an interview with The Sunday Times in promotion of her upcoming Princess Diana biopic Spencer, Stewart said, “I’ve probably made five really good films out of 45 or 50 films. Ones that I go, ‘Wow, that person made a top-to-bottom beautiful piece of work!’” As Stewart points out, she has a robust body of work so it’s surprising that she only considers five of them to be good if one disregards the self-deprecating demeanor Stewart has adopted after the Twilight years. Here are the two films Stewart thinks are some of her best work and three options for the other movies she could be referring to.
Clouds of Sils Maria
The first film Stewart mentions is 2014’s Clouds of Sils Maria. Directed by Olivier Assayas (Irma Vep, Paris, je’taime), the psychological drama film also stars Juliette Binoche and horror movie remake star Chloë Grace Moretz. The story follows Binoche’s Maria Enders, a middle-aged, well-established actress who is cast opposite Moretz’s Jo-Ann Ellis in an LGBTQ+ romantic drama. Stewart stars as Maria Enders’ personal assistant, Valentine, and romantic tensions simmer between Binoche and Stewart’s characters in the film.
It’s not hard to see why Clouds of Sils Maria is one of Stewart’s favorite films. Not only was the movie acclaimed after it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, but it also netted the actress a Best Supporting Actress award at César Awards, France’s version of the Oscars. Stewart was the first American actress to win a César after greats like Jessica Lange and Sissy Spacek both lost out.
Clouds of Sils Maria likely has a special place in Stewart’s heart for a few reasons. Not only is it a stellar film all around, but it was one of her first meaty roles after the ending of the Twilight Saga. Stewart had only appeared in two films before starring in Clouds of Sils Maria – K-11 (in a voice-only role) and Camp X-Ray. The Assayas film was the first time Stewart was really able to flex her dramatic muscles and it shows, going down in history as one of her great early performances.
Stewart names her other collaboration with Olivier Assayas as one of her great films. Personal Shopper was released in 2016 and followed Stewart’s Maureen Cartwright, a personal shopper for a high-fashion and easily angered model named Kyra. The drama is part murder mystery, part meditation on grief and the afterlife in the form of a ghost story. When Maureen’s brother dies from a heart condition, she searches for any sign that he may still be alive – they’d promised each other that whoever died first would send a message from beyond the grave.
Stewart turns in another excellent performance in Personal Shopper and she once again earned rave reviews for her turn as Maureen. It is also in line with the more serious fare that Stewart has taken on post-Twilight and the actress even admits that part of her affinity for it has to do with her love for the director. Stewart was nominated for various awards for her performance in Personal Shopper and it’s not hard to see why it is one of her top five favorite movies. Stewart doesn’t say what the other three movies could be but there are several options, including one that has yet to be released.
Stewart’s first film after the release of 2008’s Twilight was Adventureland, a dramedy co-starring Jesse Eisenberg, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Wiig, and Bill Hader. Stewart plays Em, an employee at a local theme park who is having an affair with Reynolds’ Mike, the maintenance man. Adventureland, which was filmed at a real theme park, and Stewart’s character in it, was the antithesis of Twilight at the time and one of the first times Stewart showed off her range outside the vampire saga.
Tonally, it is also completely different from Twilight. Set on the east coast and following an oddball group of irreverent theme park workers, Adventureland was easy, breezy, and all-around lighter than the heavy melodrama of the YA adaptations Stewart was entrenched in at the time. It is also a critical darling, with praise being leveled particularly at Stewart as critics realized her potential beyond playing a high schooler in love with an undead man as she did in the oft-copied Twilight.
In 2014, the same year Stewart starred in Clouds of Sils Maria, the actress would star in another drama opposite an iconic actress. Still Alice stars Julianne Moore as the titular character Alice, a woman who discovers that she has early-onset Alzheimer’s. Stewart stars as her daughter, Lidia, while Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Hunter Parrish round out the rest of the family.
Although Stewart takes on a supporting role in the film, it is one infused with pathos as she and the rest of her character’s family deal with the slow deterioration of Alice’s mind. Moore would go on to win Best Actress at the 2014 Oscars ceremony and it’s clear why – Still Alice is a career highlight for the actress and Stewart’s presence opposite her makes it clear that she can more than hold her own opposite some of the greats.
The fifth movie that Stewart is talking about is one that hasn’t been released yet but has been on many people’s radar for quite some time. The actress will star as Princess Diana in Pablo Larraín’s biopic Spencer and when it was announced that she would be playing the People’s Princess, some doubted whether or not she could pull it off. Spencer will follow Princess Diana over one tumultuous Christmas weekend at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate as Diana’s marriage with Prince Charles falls apart. Those who had doubts about Stewart’s ability to play Diana have quickly been proven wrong. After Spencer‘s premiere at Venice International Film Festival, the actress received raves for her turn as Diana and early looks at the film, including clips and trailers, have shown just how dedicated Stewart is in the role, right down to her eerily accurate accent.
Stewart is at her best when throws herself fully into a role and it’s clear that she has done that with Spencer. The actress’ latest film has earned her early buzz that she could finally get her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Despite the early years of her career, Kristen Stewart has proven that she is more than just the sum of her bad movies and even if she feels she’s only made five good ones, it’s clear that there might be a few more that could qualify as better than bad.
More: The Crown Season 4 True Story: What The Show Changes About Princess Diana
- Spencer (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
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