Julianne Moore, from Soap Sister to 'Savage' Mom

Julianne Moore i

Savage creature: Tom Kalin's film stars Julianne Moore as a mother whose instincts prove decidedly dangerous. IFC Films hide caption

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Julianne Moore

Savage creature: Julianne Moore (left, with Belen Rueda) plays a mother whose instincts prove decidedly dangerous.

IFC Films

In her new film, Savage Grace, the actress Julianne Moore plays the wife of the heir to the Bakelite plastics fortune, a middle-class woman who's married up, but who craves more than the comforts money can buy. As her emotional neediness gets entangled with her son's, boundaries of all kinds get broken — and a tragedy looms.

The movie, based on the true story of a scandalous high-society murder, is playing now in limited release; Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers says "Moore delivers a tour de force ... [she's] savagely moving in her haunting delineation of Barbara's journey from loneliness to mania."

For her film work, Moore has earned four Oscar nominations. But before The Hours and Far From Heaven, before The Big Lebowski and Boogie Nights, even before Short Cuts, Moore was the recipient of a Daytime Emmy — for "Outstanding Ingenue in a Drama Series" — for her work on As the World Turns.

Moore talks to Terry Gross about her varied career, including that stint in the soaps, where she played two identical half-sisters — one of them good, one of them evil.

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