29 May 2011

Take Three @ TFE: Catherine Keener

This week my "Take Three" column (every Sunday, three write-ups on three performances in a supporting/character actor's career) over at The Film Experience features Catherine Keener in Being John Malkovich, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Please Give.

Take One: Being John Malkovich (1999)

Do you think it’s possible to admire an actress’ immense talent yet still be somewhat immune to her overall allure or effectiveness? Or perhaps it’s fair to acknowledge their greatness, but have issues with many of their performances? It’s been this way with me and Cathy K for eleven years. It was very likely Being John Malkovich that kick-started my general viewer/star incompatibility with Keener. I did, however, enjoy her sarcastically dry, bolshy, personality-destroying task master Maxine Lund in Spike Jonze’s breakthrough film a great deal. But in the film – and in many things since – she’s baffled, transfixed, annoyed and intrigued me in equal measure. Watching one of her films is a tug-of-war filled with both appreciation and irritation...

Read the rest here

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