Category: movie names
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.
Continuing her exploration of motion picture award names, one of our favorite guest bloggers, Abby Sandel, creator of the popular site Appellation Mountain , looks beyond Hollywood to find some interesting names associated with winners at Cannes, Berlin and Britain award ceremonies.
Marquee-worthy baby names are all the rage, with choices ranging from the Top Ten Ava to surnames like Harlow. Searching past Academy Award winners can provide inspiration for baby names, from the glamorous to the unusual.
But what about all those other Award shows? Oscar may be king in the US, but elsewhere, actors and directors compete for Goyas, Bears, BAFTAs, Ariels and, of course, the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes.
The following names are culled from award winners from across the globe, but proceed with caution. Just like not every Oscar-winning character makes for a worthy name sake, that remains true for this list.
CALYPSO: Neither an actress nor a character, the Calypso was the name of the ship used by Jacques Cousteau in the celebrated 1956 The Silent World, a documentary and early work by famed director Louis Malle.
CANDELARIA: The first Mexican film to achieve widespread international acclaim, Maria Candelaria starred Dolores del Río, the first Latin American actress to make it big in Hollywood. The movie was released in 1943, but wasn’t screened at Cannes until post-World War II.
GERTRUDE: 1946’s La Symphonie Pastorale is a French film based on a novel. Gertrude is a blind orphan adopted by a pastor. Both her foster father and stepbrother fall for her. Drama follows. The luminous Michèle Morgan starred as Gertrude – and would later lose out on the starring role in Casablanca.
KESA: Japan’s first post-war international hit was 1953’s Gate of Hell. The story of a samurai and Lady Kesa, the woman he rescues propelled Machiko Ky? to stardom. She went on to work with Akira Kurosawa and Kenji Mizoguchi.
LUCIENNE: Not an actor at all, but the jeweler who designed the original Palme d’Or award for the Cannes Film Festival.
MAGALI: Turkish-French actress Magali Noël was best known for her work with Italian director Federico Fellini, including appearing as Fanny in 1960’s legendary La dolce vita. She also scored early French rock’n’roll hits as a singer in the 1950s.
SERAFINA: Decades before Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner chose Seraphina for their second daughter, French director Marcel Camus made Black Orpheus in Brazil in 1959. A truly international production that would garner recognition at Cannes as well as an Academy Award and a BAFTA, Serafina was one of the characters.
Last week our guest blogger Elisabeth Wilborn offered a great yuletide menu of names that was both inclusive and imaginative, covering all the bases from religious to seasonal to spiritual. At the risk of being accused of overkill, I thought I’d offer a few quirkier ideas, which are tied less directly to the holiday.
One of them is to look at some first and last names that have appeared in classic Christmas movies, ranging from the vintage It’s a Wonderful Life to the more recent Elf. Some examples:
BAILEY ……..It’s a Wonderful Life
CLARENCE ..It’s a Wonderful Life
GEORGE ……It’s a Wonderful Life
VIOLET ……..It’s a Wonderful Life
ZUZU ………..It’s a Wonderful Life
Another possibility, even more of a stretch, could be various shades of the Christmas colors, red and green:
Oh, and what about Santa‘s reindeer’s names? Where did those funky names come from? It seems that the Night Before Christmas poet Clement C. Moore gave a lot of thought to his choices, picking names that imply speed, grace, power, and strength. We wouldn’t recommend Donner or Blitzen or Prancer. Comet, Cupid, Vixen–barely possible. A little more conceivable: Dasher and Dancer.
The poor Simpson-Wentzes caught a lot of flak last week for their baby name choices–not only for first name Bronx, but for Disneyesque middle name Mowgli as well, to the point where Pete Wentz felt called upon to defend the choice on the people.com website. In a story headlined PETE WENTZ: WHY WE NAMED OUR SON MOWGLI, his explanation was “The Jungle Book was something me and Ashlee bonded over. It’s a cool name.” Well, whether or not we agree, we shouldn’t dismiss the whole genre of Disney names–there are a few treasures buried in that vault.
In the beginning, the Disney folks were big on silly, often alliterative names for their cartoon creatures–Horace Horsefeather, Clarabelle Cow, and of course Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Donald and Daisy Duck. When they moved on to feature films in the 1930s, they began to draw on already created and named characters from fairy tales and children’s books, from Snow White to Peter Pan. Curiously enough, the one early character name that caught on with parents was Bambi–a male deer in the movie that became a popular namesake for girl babies.
The real winners, though, have been the Princess names from more recent Disney films–The Little Mermaid’s Ariel reached #66 two years after its release date and Jasmine from Aladdin has been as high as #23. Other Disney heroine names like Belle (Beauty and the Beast) and Violet (The Incredibles) have also been boosted by their Disney connection. Here are some other good Disneyfied options:
AURORA Sleeping Beauty
BIANCA The Rescuers
BRIAR ROSE Sleeping Beauty
CELIA Monsters, Inc
ESMERALDA The Hunchback of Notre Dame
CLAUDE The Hunchback of Notre Dame
PHOEBUS The Hunchback of Notre Dame
REX Monsters, Inc