“Acting is about communicating what it is like to be human: the pain, the laughs, the misery, the joy. I suppose I am searching to have it all.”
Rosamund Pike, a superb British actress whose dazzling smile and enigmatic on-screen presence usually leaves an indelible mark on the audience, irrespective of her screen time, has forged a career within the film industry based on pure talent. A very able actress, Pike has received various nominations including one Emmy and an Academy Award. She is, quite deservingly, one of the most sought-after contemporary actresses in Hollywood.
Born in 1979 to opera singers, Pike was first noticed by an agent during her performance as Juliet in National Youth Theatre’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Pike did not have it easy as she had been rejected by every drama school before finally studying English Literature at Oxford. She finally took a year off to prepare herself for stardom and acted in various stage productions which included adaptations of Shakesperean plays as well as those by Arthur Miller, David Hare and more.
Pike appeared in various supporting roles as well as small-time roles in television and films before bagging her first major film in 2005 with Pride & Prejudice, a project where she romanced her ex-boyfriend. It was from 2005 that her career started gaining momentum with various films like Fugitive Pieces, Fracture and more heading her way.
Pike’s big breakthrough role as Amy in Fincher’s Gone Girl won her the well-deserved attention. Pike had always been Fincher’s first choice due to her lesser-known status in Hollywood. Pike’s genius shone through as she deftly portrayed the complicated and layered character of Amy, which was, according to her “very empowering”. She was quoted saying, “There’s no actress who wouldn’t dream of a character like that. As an actor, you think, ‘I’m never going to be good enough. I can see how far I want to reach with this and the potential, but I’m never going to reach it. But the other side of that, is you go home and think, ‘I can do anything I want. This is so extreme. It’s a version of being a woman that isn’t contained in any way.'”
Pike enthralled the audience with her brilliant portrayal of Marie Curie in Satrapi’s Radioactive. The trailer for Netflix’s I Care A Lot has been released which shows Pike in a very Gone Girl-esque character where she cons the elderly. While fans wait with bated breath to be enthralled by her incredible performances, we decided to take a look at some of her best films to date.
On what is Pike’s 42nd birthday today, let us take a look at her ten best films in order of greatness.
Rosamund Pike films ranked from worst to best:
10. The World’s End (Edgar Wright, 2013)
When 40-year-old Gary King tries to drag his estranged and disgruntled friends on a pub crawl, the group reluctantly tags along with their final stop being the legendary World’s End pub. Meanwhile, the future of mankind is in jeopardy.
After the bizarre Shaun of the Dead, in a classic Edgar Wright fashion, the film deals with an impending alien invasion which threatens mankind. Funny and banal, this film is a must-watch for people who have not had the fortune of witnessing Wright’s mesmerising and unique magic unfold on-screen.
“Though we may return with a twinkle in our eyes, we will in truth be blind.”
9. Wrath of Titans (Jonathan Liebesman, 2012)
After his father Zeus is taken captive by traitors Ares and Hades who plan to strike a deal with the trite Titan Kronos in exchange for immortality, Perseus must embark on a perilous odyssey once again to save the day. On the journey, he is joined by the beautiful and agile Andromeda, played by the flawless Rosamund Pike.
Rosamund Pike is a vision in the film. However, it fails to impress as much as its 2010 predecessor Clash of Titans. The disarranged plotline contributes to the ‘epic’ failure of the film.
“The walls of Tartarus are falling.”
8. Pride & Prejudice (Joe Wright, 2005)
Adapted from Jane Austen’s celebrated novel of manners of the same name, the film explores the lives of the sisters and Jane and Elizabeth Bennet as they face the trials and tribulations of being of marriageable age. Life becomes somewhat complicated for Elizabeth when she meets the rich and arrogant aristocrat Mr Darcy.
Rosamund Pike is cast as Jane Bennet in this Victorian film. She was cast as Jane because according to the director’s knowledge, pike “wasn’t going to play her as a nice, simple person. Jane has a real interior world, she has her heartbroken.”
“I wonder who first discovered the power of poetry in driving away love.”
7. Fracture (Gregory Hoblit, 2007)
If you are looking for a different kind of courtroom drama that will send shivers down your spine, this film is tailormade for you. Quintessentially an Anthony Hopkins film, Pike features in a supporting role. Ryan Gosling and Hopkins have a brilliant on-screen camaraderie and is a visual treat for the audience with its unending twists and gripping tale.
After Ted Crawford is convicted of shooting his wife, to which he initially confesses, he soon engages in a deadly battle of wits with the defence attorney Willy Beachum. After Crawford gets acquitted due to lack of evidence, Beachum obsessively ad manically begins to look for evidence against the former.
“Even a broken clock is right twice a day.”
6. Fugitive Pieces (Jeremy Podeswa, 2007)
Polish boy Jakob Beer is orphaned during the Second World War where he is rescued by a Greek archaeologist. The film is narrated from the perspective of a writer whose ghosts of the past come back to terrify him.
Unlike other quintessential Holocaust narratives which lack empathy and usually become very melodramatic, making fact and fiction undistinguishable, this film is neatly crafted with a good storyline. The enigmatic trio of Nina Dobrev, Rosamund Pike and Ayelet Zurer works wonders in the film.
“There’s a moment when love makes you believe in death for the first time.”
5. Jack Reacher (Christopher McQuarrie, 2012)
After five people are killed in a random attack, an ex-military sniper James Barr is convicted. Ex-army investigator Jack Reacher is called upon for his distinguished help by the sniper’s defence attorney Helen Rodin. As he delves deeper, Reacher discovers shocking truths.
Rosamund Pike as Helen Rodin is poignant, crisp and smart. Although Tom Cruise is not the best Reacher casting out there, the film is well-paced and somewhat entertaining.
“You think I’m a hero? I am not a hero. And if you’re smart, that scares you. Because I have nothing to lose.”
4. An Education (Lone Scherfig, 2009)
Jenny, a young adult caught in a strict household, finds her escape in a much older and charming man David who promises to guide her into the world she so desires to see. After a whirlwind romance and multiple romantic escapades, Jenny discovers David is not who he pretends to be and soon despairs about throwing away her somewhat good life for a man with sinister intentions.
Rosamund Pike appears as David’s best friends girlfriend Helen who is always clad in exotic dresses. She has a role to play in Jenny’s heartbreak and is blamed by the latter. The film has a wonderful screenplay by Nick Hornby which an unconventional love story and how such a sinister relationship ultimately helps shape a young girl to know better and be prepared for the future.
“You have no idea how boring everything was until I met you.”
3. Barney’s Version (Richard J. Lewis, 2010)
Barney is at the end of his life when he reevaluates all his triumphs, tragedies and best moments. He re-examines his relationships starting from the failed one with pregnant Clara, his first wife. After that fails, he marries twice before finally finding peace with Miriam.
A wonderful intermingling of tragedy and comedy, this film is heartwarming and beautiful. It is wholesome yet tragic and tugs at the heartstrings Barney and his father’s relationship has been explored in a wonderful light which could have very well been the whole plot of the film.
“I’m here for you if you’ll let me. We had a beautiful marriage, but it’s over.”
2. A United Kingdom (Amma Asante, 2016)
When the King of Bechuanaland falls in love and marries an Englishwoman in London despite opposition from their respective families as well as the British government, there arises a struggle in accepting this interracial marriage which threatens to disrupt international peace.
Rosamund Pike is stunning as Ruth, the Englishwoman the king falls for. This heartwarming tale shows us how love stands a test of time and transcends the barriers of caste and race and attempts to challenge pre-conceived notions and stereotypes. With brilliant performances, the film’s powerful message is well-conveyed on-screen.
“I would hate to walk away from you knowing that I would never see you again.”
1. Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014)
The film has been adapted from Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name. Author Nick Dunne and his attractive wife, Amy, have a seemingly perfect marriage. However, once Amy goes missing, Nick becomes the prime suspect and the media frenzy coupled with police investigations taint his image. Where is Amy and what is her motive?
With Ben Affleck as Nick and Rosamund Pike as Amy, this film was a powerhouse of incredible performances. Pike received her breakthrough role in this film with her receiving various nominations and accolades. The chilling atmospheric horror of the film is heightened by the directorial genius as well as Pike’s splendid performance as the complicated Amy.
‘I will practice believing my husband loves me but I could be wrong.”