RR Films: Narcissism

Maybe the idea was sparked by yet another of Bliar’s attempts to turn the political spotlight in his direction, or maybe it was the continuous parade of grinning hypocrites asking for our votes, but narcissism is all around us. Even I – long averse to even owning a smartphone – have to confess to taking a selfie….

Actors may be particularly prone to the disease but perhaps that also makes them better able to portray it on screen, like Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen’s last decent film, Blue Jasmine:

What films about/involving narcissism would you recommend?

17 thoughts on “RR Films: Narcissism

  1. The very first thing that I though of was the 1962 film Gypsy, about the life of Gypsy Rose Lee, derived from the musical of the same name. She treats everything as part of her larger-than-life personality.

    The narcissism involves Rose Hovick, the mother of June and Louise, daughters who have been trained to be in vaudeville shows, with the aim of making June a star. Rose lives her life vicariously through June, with Louise, played by Natalie Wood a mere accessory to the plan.

    When Louise takes over the act and turns into a burlesque performer as Gypsy Rose Lee, Rose tries to take over her career too, her domineering manner finally causing a rift between the two. Basically, it is all really about Rose. The world is all about her. She sees herself as a great impresario, her daughters are just her route to fame. The film ends with Rosalind Russell, as Rose putting on an absolutely barnstorming performance to an empty theatre, pouring out her emotions and finally getting the chance to exorcise her narcissistic behaviour.

  2. My first thought was Richard Gere in American Gigolo. His vanity and self regard, quite literally when he is admiring himself in the mirror, make it quite clear who he loves most.

  3. My first thought was Richard Gere in American Gigolo. His vanity and self regard, quite literally when he is admiring himself in the mirror, make it quite clear who he loves most.j

  4. These are getting trickier..

    Until I remembered Whit Stillman, who somehow manages to make self-absorbed assholes sympathetic. Any of his films, but Barcelona is my favourite.

  5. Is American Psycho too easy? Ok then, one film chock full of narcissistic assholes – White Mischief. Only problem is that i can’t really recommend it, it was awful. Carole Bouquet, the title character in Trop Belle Pour Toi tells a dinner party that she knows that everyone there hates her because she’s so beautiful. In her case, it’s not narcissism, she knows full well the limitations of her beauty. Ok then, one that might be a stretch to fit the bill, but I’ll go for the excellent Catherine Deneuve in Belle Du Jour.

  6. If its narcissism you’re after then “Sunset Boulevard” takes some beating with Gloria Swanson’s brilliant portrayal of self obsessed has-been Norma Desmond almost defining the term ! Another film I’d recommend although I’m not sure it is really about narcissism, maybe just star lust, is “King of Comedy” in which Robert de Niro plays Rupert Pupkin, a chat show addicted nobody who will stop at nothing to break into show business, even kidnapping ! It is an unsettling and profound study of our obsession with celebrity.

  7. My first thought was Citizen Kane – but I’m trying to distinguish between Egoist and narcissist – I think he fits both.
    And screen written by the same person how about The LIfe Aquatic with Steve Zissou or The Fantastic Mr Fox!

  8. Narcissism. So many movies… Buffoons with no brains but total self-regard can be successful so lets hear it for Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Ah, the era when ratings somehow confer respect or approval on incompetent, whining, hypocrites. Can’t wait til they make films about Trump and May, such mard whiners they are.

    Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars for the Hollywood narcissism, though you can’t top Sunset B. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_itp92Dc52M

    All About Eve was my first thought

    Not a movie but Tony Soprano and his mother. What a pair they were.

    I recently had to end an affair because the offspring of the woman I was seeing were such narcissists. I had never experienced that before.

  9. There’s apparently a biopic coming out of Madonna – The Early Years. She might get my vote from a vast pool of choices for most narcissistic musicians.

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