Okay, so the Fashion Police have had their say, praising and pillorying the various gowns and guy clothes on the Golden Globes Red Carpet by designers from Armani to Zak Posen–scrutinizing everything from Charlize Theron’s sparkly headband to Evan Rachel Wood’s Christian Louboutins.
Now it’s time for us Name Police to have our turn. Not that we would ever say anything negative about anyone’s appellation, but we did want to point out some of the award-worthy names we discovered among the cast members and characters in this year’s Golden Globe winning movies and TV shows.
Adriana—Adriana is the beautiful fantasy mistress of artists Braque, Modigliani and Picasso, played by Marion Cotillard, in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. A lovely Italian name that is perfectly at home in English-speaking countries.
Amara—Amara Miller is the 11-year-old actress who plays George Clooney’s precocious daughter Scottie King in The Descendents—her first movie role. Amara is a strong, sweet, stylish name that means “lovely forever.”
Cora—The Rt. Hon. Cora, Countess of Grantham, is the American-born mistress of Downton Abbey, played by the American-born actress Elizabeth McGovern. Cora is a gentle, old-fashioned name that has recently been rejuvenated.
Djuna—Djuna Barnes is one of the real-life Parisienne icons who resurface in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. The exotic name, pronounced JOO-na, has long been associated with that early 20th century American novelist, but we can see it being adopted by cutting-edge baby namers.
Inez—Inez is the insensitive fiancée of leading character Gil (Owen Wilson) in Midnight in Paris. A name that is both familiar and yet somewhat mysterious, Inez has the additional appeal of that final, striking ‘z’ sound.
Morning—Morning Randolph is the sexy young blonde character on the TV show Episodes, whose name might have been assigned to her with tongue firmly in cheek. Still, this is one of the time-related word names that might be considered an option these days.
Octavia—Actress Octavia Spencer won the well deserved Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Minny Jackson in The Help. The ancient Roman name Octavia could make a strong, attractive and musical alternative to the widely used Olivia.
Peppy—Peppy Miller is the charming leading lady played by Bérénice Bejo in the award-winning French silent film The Artist. But is Peppy enough of a full first name for a real-life girl? We’d suggest Poppy or Piper or Pippa instead.
Rosamund—Lady Rosamund Painswick (mother of Lavinia and Cyril) is a typical Downton Abbey name. After long having been thought of as strictly British, the delicate Rosamund—also spelled Rosamond—is beginning to make some inroads here.
Tamsin—British actress Tamsin Greig plays writer Beverly Lincoln on Showtime’s Episodes, for which Matt LeBlanc won a GG for playing Matt LeBlanc. Tamsin—originally a condensation of Thomasina—is a practically unheard of English name, which we happen to love.
Idris—Idris Elba, formerly of The Wire, won for his powerful performance as BBC Detective John Luther. Idris is a Welsh name related to Arthur and to a mythological giant, well used in France but virtually unheard here. Could it follow the path to popularity of Isla? And speaking of that, we do know a wonderful (female) poet named Idris.
Laurent—There are two Laurents in the cast of Midnight in Paris, one of whom plays Leo, the brother of Gertrude Stein. This French version of Lawrence (the ‘t’ is silent), has a lot of potential as a more interesting Uncle Larry namesake.
Ludovic—Ludovic Bource won the Golden Globe for Best Original Score for the film The Artist—a silent movie in which the music had to do double duty. Ludovic is the medieval Latinized form of Ludwig, and is the full name of Harry Potter character “Ludo” Bagman.
Nolan—Nolan Gould is the child actor who plays the young and innocent Luke Dunphy as a member of the prize-winning ensemble cast of Modern Family. Nolan has been climbing steadily up the popularity ladder, now at #104, partially inspired by pitcher Nolan Ryan.
Olivier—Laurence Olivier appears as a character in My Week with Marilyn, and Olivier Rabourdin plays Paul Gauguin in Midnight in Paris. A name that definitely adds some French flair to the more prosaic Oliver.
Rico—The amiable young actor Rico Rodriguez plays Manny Delgado on TV’s Modern Family. The dashing Rico is a common Latin nickname for Ricardo, but is often used on its own, as is the increasingly popular Nico.