(I typed this up on a headrush – potentially silliness ahead.)
Brenda Strong in Catch Me If You Can
Seriously, do I need say more? The more I think of it, the more I realise that – raised eyebrows be damned – Catch Me If You Can is one of the, maybe four, Spielberg films that I actually love and it’s arguably one of his best cast ones, too. This was before Adams became a three time Oscar nominee (and counting) but it’s filled with all the adorable Amy Adamsisms that we’ve come to know and love. Also, she makes conmen fall in love and long for reformation.
Allie in The Notebook
Remember James Marsden in The Notebook? Possibly no, possibly yes – like the typical romantic drama the romantic foil (whether evil or docile) is not often remembered but Marsden’s Lon is the war veteran Allie almost marries during the film’s middle. I was on the fence of including her. For one, I’m not much fond of McAdams as a performer, she’s not a real nurse (but that doesn’t mean much – see below). She heals the sick, even if she doesn’t marry them.
Lara in Doctor Zhivago
Claim to Fame: Steely glares at Evil People (You shall understand if you've seen it.)
Well, the film is long so I can understand if you forgot that Lara moonlit as a Nurse. But she did, and she was excellent because there is nothing that Julie Christie is not excellent at (Warren Beatty slept with her people, and he doesn’t do that with just anybody). Curiously, a great deal of Lara’s Nurse tenure was spent doing ironing, but I suppose clean linen is important for the Nurse trade and whatnot.
Briony Tallis in Atonement
I feel as if I might have spoken about this ad nauseum – but I shall say it again. I fell in love with Romola Garai when she started speaking in French to that soldier in that devastating scene in Atonement. Sure, in a way, it makes me hate Briony just a little bit because she’s so adamant that she only knows school French when she so obviously more than an average hang on it, and further Briony is still the de facto villainess of the piece. Sort of. But, French absolves that, and she's so beautifully kind to that dying soldier.
Hana in The English Patient
And, the only who started it all. Binoche is just an absolute delight in The English Patient, I’d admitted as much before. She truly is a terrific Nurse and even though she never forms a specifically romantic bond with the Patient the two do reach a beautiful understanding. And sure, it ends in euthanasia for him – but we can’t have everything. She’s a great nurse, people, not god.
Any movie nurses worthy of your affection? Sound off below.