Naomi Watts is one of the most respected actresses of her time, boasting a prolific film career with varied character roles in numerous genres. While Watts is famous for her dramatic roles and method acting techniques, she has also tried her hand at science fiction and suspense. In recent years, Naomi Watts has starred in many different artistic and historical films that have often flown under the radar of popular culture but nonetheless received great critical acclaim.
"The International" is a 2009 action thriller that tells a tale of international intrigue, crime, and drama. Naomi Watts portrays Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman, a tough and intelligent woman dedicated to solving a financial crime involving a major player in the international banking community. Watts goes undercover with Agent Louis Salinger from Interpol, and the two begin a globe-trotting quest to uncover the truth behind a fraud that goes deeper than they ever could have imagined. "The International" is full of interpersonal drama and enough action sequences to keep you on the edge of your seat, marking one of Watts' first major roles in an action film.
"The Impossible" is a recent 2012 film about a family who decides to change things up and spend Christmas in Thailand. Unfortunately, their vacation is timed right as a major tsunami hits the small nation's islands and the family is lost at sea in the aftermath of the storm. The film chronicles their journey to survive and find one another again. Naomi Watts plays Maria, the wife and mother of the family, and the one who holds everything together. This film offers a dramatic take on how such an overwhelming natural disaster affects families, and it earned Watts significant critical recognition for her portrayal of such gritty subject matter.
"Adore" (watch trailer) is a recent film in which Naomi Watts plays Lil, a middle-aged wife and mother to Ian, a young man on the brink of adulthood. Lil lives in a wealthy Australian beach town near her childhood best friend, Roz. The two women have been inseparable their whole lives, and their sons are much the same. "Adore" puts a controversial spin on the classic summer romance theme by having the two leading ladies fall for each other's adult sons. As passions ignite and two forbidden love affairs begin to grow, tensions develop not only between Roz and Lil but also between their sons as well. Watts steals the show in her role as Lil, managing to portray this flawed and enigmatic character in a way that is both likable and believable. "Adore" is heavily styled after French dramas with their penchant for tackling controversial themes, and the film has a decidedly vintage feel that modern audiences will find refreshing.
"Sunlight Jr." is a 2013 film that tells the story of Melissa and Richie, an American couple who face a series of terrible misfortunes in their already impoverished lives. Melissa works as a convenience store clerk for minimum wage, barely making enough to afford the hotel room she and her wheelchair-bound boyfriend live in. When Melissa learns she is pregnant, she loses her job and they find themselves homeless and forced to make the hardest decision of their lives. "Sunlight Jr." is a brilliant film that takes a look at two people in trying circumstances as they struggle to maintain hope and optimism. Watts delivers one of her most amazing dramatic performances yet as the ever-hopeful Melissa, pushing herself beyond her limits and bringing her character to life in a meaningful way.
"Diana" is one of Naomi Watts' most recent films, telling the tragic tale of Princess Diana, one of the most beloved figures in British royal history. Diana was known as the people's princess, and Watts brilliantly portrays the warmth and light of her personality. With an uncanny resemblance to Diana in every way, from her mannerisms and speech to her physical appearance, Watts' performance in "Diana" will undoubtedly be recognized as one of the most remarkable big screen portrayals of a historical character.
With so many diverse roles in such a short time span, it's easy to see why Naomi Watts is one of Hollywood's most sought-after actresses. Watts has reached a point in her career where she can choose to work on lesser known films that appeal to her artistically and allow her to flex her abilities as an actress, and her recent resume certainly shows that preference. These films represent some of the highlights of Ms. Watts' career, sure to please her fans in every genre.