Celebrating Julia Ormond: Natural beauty at any age

Nothing is quite as beautiful as a woman who owns her age.

Although the notion is not accepted by Hollywood standards that equate youth and beauty, we have no trouble calling to mind women “of a certain age” who seem to get more lovely with every new laugh line — and see no reason to surgically alter the gorgeous looks they’ve earned via a full life. Think Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Mary McDonnell and today’s subject: Julia Ormond.

Ormond caught our attention when, as a relative unknown in the U.S., she appeared with Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall. That performance landed her in a role made famous by Audrey Hepburn: Sabrina Fairchild in Sabrina. The remake wasn’t exactly a hit, but Ormond made the role her own — not trying to imitate Hepburn (as if anyone could), but bringing her own brand of grace and humor to the character.

She won over AfterEllen.com readers for good when she guest starred in Nurse Jackie as Sarah Khouri, the woman who captured the heart of Dr. Eleanor O’Hara (Eve Best).

She won over the rest of the country when she appeared in Temple Grandin on HBO as Temple’s mom. Claire Danes and Julia Ormond together? Emmys all around.

In the next few weeks, Ormond appears in two roles that may put her name on the awards ballot yet again. The one we’ve heard most about is My Week with Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams. Ormond plays Vivien Leigh.

In The Green, Ormond turns in a powerful performance as a lesbian attorney who takes on the case of a gay private school teacher in Connecticut who is accused of molesting a male student. Here’s the trailer.



Ormond, who has always been an LGBT ally, is proud to be in a film that addresses the subject of homophobia so directly. Tolerance, she says, is not enough. “Tolerating creates distance. We should be celebrating. Let’s get to celebrating each other.”

I say we start the celebration with Julia Ormond. Who’s with me? (Hat tip to @andnowyoutellme for the excellent Ormond links.)