Category: movie character names
The list of nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards came out last week. Even though the only category in which I’ve actually seen all the contenders is Best Animated Feature Film, I’ve been digging through the nominees to find the most intriguing name options.
Here are my picks for the most award-winning names from this year’s list of nominees:
- Atticus, as in Atticus Ross, Trent Reznor’s long-time collaborator. The duo is nominated for their work on “The Social Network.” (Hat tip to C in DC for pointing him out!)
- Jem, the unusual nickname for James favored by Jeremy Renner’s character in “The Town.”
- Laser, the given name of the younger Hutcherson kid in the much-nominated “The Kids Are All Right.” (shown in illustration)
- Aron, the slimmed-down Scandinavian variant of Aaron worn by real life mountain climber Aron Ralston. James Franco could win Best Actor for his portrayal of Ralston in “127 Hours.”
- Bastien, from French filmmaker Bastien Dubois, nominated for “Madagascar, a Journey Diary.” Best Animated Short Film doesn’t get much press, but Dubois’ given name – a short form of Sebastian – could catch on.
- Hendrix, from Guy Hendrix Dyas, nominated for production design on “Inception.” If x-names from Felix to Jaxon can catch on, why not Hendrix? Dyas isn’t exactly a household name, but there’s Jimi Hendrix, too.
- Leonardo DiCaprio is a household name, and his character from “Inception” – Dom – could fit right in with Jack and Cole.
- Lastly, there’s a pleasing pair of English appellations from “The King’s Speech.” Geoffrey Rush played Lionel Logue, speech therapist to King George VI. There’s also Cosmo, as in the given name of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Lionel and Cosmo strike me as quite stylish names for small boys, even if the characters are rather serious.
Other famous babies making their debuts this week include Mike and Lahika Tyson’s son Morocco Elijah and Coco Reese Lakshmi, a daughter for No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal and girlfriend Erin Lokitz. We also learned that model Doutzen Kroes and DJ Sunnery James gave their son Phyllon a happy middle name – Joy.
Next week we’ll look at the Girls’ List of Oscar-inspired names, and find out if Best Actor nominee Javier Bardem and equally talented wife Penélope Cruz reveal the name they’ve chosen for their little star.
Last year the world was falling into the icy clutches of the vampires. The Salvatore brothers of L.J. Smith’s The Vampire Diaries were fighting over the beautiful Elena Gilbert, lethally handsome Edward Cullen once again rescued his mortal love, Bella Swann from a gruesome death in the new Twilight movie, Eclipse, and a vampire child by the name of Abby has been terrifying audiences in Matt Reeve’s new film Let Me In.
Unfortunately, not all of us are lucky enough to escape the bite of immortality, but fear not fellow name lovers! There is hope for us mortals yet, a hope that comes in a very furry form.
This Halloween goes to the wolves. The vampire reign is in danger of coming to a close as the popularity of werewolves quickly rises. The vampire-werewolf rivalry is one of the oldest feuds in existence, so it’s no wonder that we humans have been caught in the middle once again. At least the wolves will get the vampires off our backs for a bit. Right?
Okay. You may be thinking that werewolves are just as bad as vampires, but let’s think about this. Unlike vampires who have absolutely no escape from their condition, unless they go a day without sunscreen, werewolves only change during a full moon. So if someone you love is carrying the curse of the Lycan, it’s best to take a little vacation from them once a month. After all, we all need a little me time. Also, werewolves aren’t constantly craving your blood. They’re actually quite normal in human form (I should know because I used to date one), whereas vampires obsess over the sound of blood pumping through your veins. Hence, werewolves are the lesser of two evils.
The shadowy world of film noir, those stark black-and-white, often low-budget films with single-word titles—Possessed, Pursued, Trapped, Tension, Decoy, Detour, Breakdown, Blackmail—produced in Hollywood from roughly the early 1940s to the late 1950s, were populated with smoldering femmes fatale, hard-boiled detectives, corrupt cops, cynicism, intrigue and suspense
A lot of the female characters had a distinctive style of forgotten two-syllable names like Veda, Velma, Verna, Meta, Mida and Nita, while the tough guys who weren’t named Nick or Tony or Barney were occasionally given some wildly eccentric monikers.
Here, from both classics of the genre like The Maltese Falcon to barely remembered B-movies, some of the more interesting examples:
- Althea – The Unsuspected
- Angel – Guilty Bystander
- Barby – The Fallen Sparrow, Sleep, My Love
- Brandy – Two of a Kind
- Brigid – The Maltese Falcon
- Candy – Pickup on South Street, Breakdown
- Carmen—The Big Sleep
- Cecily – The Two Mrs Carrolls
- Celia – The Secret Behind the Door
- Cora –The Postman Always Rings Twice, Brute Force
- Dell – Shadow on the Wall
- Della – The Burglar
- Eden – Murder is My Beat
- Edwina/Eddie – Fingers at the Window
- Effie – The Maltese Falcon
- Evangeline – T-Men
- Fay – The Killing
- Frennessey – World for Ransom
- Fritzie – The Big Bluff
Last week we perused the character names in classic French New Wave films and today, as promised, we do the same for the Italian cinema produced (mostly) in Rome’s Cinecittà, from the gritty neorealist works of Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini to the fantasies of Fellini, the surreal films of Antonioni, et alia.
Italian names, almost universally, end in vowels, so here’s an opportunity to explore a fresh source of feminissima girls’ names ending in ‘a,’ ranging from the simple Lia to the elaborate Elisabetta, and boys’ names with the popular ‘o’ ending—some of which will be more familiar than others.
This time—as prompted by one of you berries– I’m including the names of the films the characters appear in. The movie titles are in Italian or English (sometimes both), depending on how they are best known in the US.
- Adelina – de Sica, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
- Adreina –Antonioni, The Cry/Il grido
- Amalia– Rossellini, Dov’é la libertà?
- Annarella – de Sica, Bread, Love and Dreams
- Bruna – Bertolucci, La commare secca; Pasolini, La Mamma Roma
- Cabiria—Fellini, Nights of Cabiria
- Clelia — Bertolucci, Before the Revolution; Antonioni, The Girlfriends/Le amiche; Rossellini, Vanina Vanini
- Clementina –de Sica, The Voyage/ Il Viaggio
- Dorotea –Fellini, And the Ship Sails On
- Elisabetta – Fellini, Juliet of the Spirits
- Elvia –Antonioni, The Cry/ Il grido
- Filumena – De Sica, Marriage, Italian Style
- Giuditta—Zeffirelli, Sparrow
- Giuliana –Antonioni, Red Desert
- Lauretta – Rossellini, Open City
In late 1950s France there emerged a group of young intellectual, experimental filmmakers, including François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol and Jean-Luc Goddard, who became known collectively as La Nouvelle Vague or New Wave, and changed the face of film.
In films like Breathless, they rebelled against traditional French cinema, employing such groundbreaking techniques as using real locations, hand-held cameras, natural lighting and improvised scripts, jump cuts, voiceovers and slanguage, all of which had a profound influence on such later American directors as Martin Scorese, Francis Ford Coppola, John Cassavetes, Robert Altman and Quentin Tarantino.
But though their techniques emigrated across the Atlantic, the names of many of the characters in their films did not, and, looking through the casts of characters in these movies, we find a variety of fresh options, particularly on the female side, with sleek ine-ending choices and feminissima ette names.