Monday, August 6, 2012

Top Fives: Patricia Clarkson Movies

Who doesn't love Patricia Clarkson? What do you mean you don't know who she is? She's the lady that steals the show no matter what the show is, somebody who'll never be offered a role that Jennifer Aniston turned down but would certainly make that movie watchable. But she only really appears in indies and you'd be a very lucky film maker if you could persuade her to work on your indie flick that's for sure. She even got an Oscar nomination for her performance in a Katie Holmes film that was quite forgettable as a whole.

It took seeing her fantastically funny turn in a not so massive role in Welcome To Collinwood recently for me to realise just how versatile and always excellent she is. So here's five more films you should see her in:

The Safety of Objects (2001) Dir. Rose Troche


An ensemble piece adapted from the A.M. Holmes novel of the same name. Clarkson stars alongside Justified dreamboat Timothy Olyphant and the girl who smelled so nice in that vampire movie before sleeping with a really old married man.

The Station Agent (2003) Dir. Thomas McCarthy


Probably my favourite movie of 2003 this is the sweet, funny and moving film that set Thomas McCarthy on the road to indie fame. Clarkson is the broken woman who finds a way to grieve thanks to two unexpected friends.

Lars and the Real Girl (2007) Dir. Craig Gillespie


We all know about Ryan Gosling these days, he's a fantastic modern actor. Back when this quirky drama was released it seemed to fly under the radar a little but is definitely worth the watch. Patricia Clarkson has a very important role as his girlfriends doctor, the kind of role that could easily have destroyed the movie in the wrong hands but Clarkson brings the right level of humour and sincerity to it.

Good Night, And Good Luck (2005) Dir. George Clooney


George Clooney astounds me, he is so damned good looking and much much more than a pretty face. He sells coffee for a living and occasionally makes fantastic movies. This one was nominated for six Academy awards and features very strong performances from the entire cast including Patricia Clarkson as Robert Downey Jr.'s wife. I know many women who would kill to be in that position. She looks fabulous in black and white too.

Easy A (2010) Dir. Will Gluck


The smartest teen comedy in years featured Emma Stone as a pocketful of sunshine and a couple of scene stealing performances from Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as her parents. Comic gold. I enjoyed them as a couple so much that I am searching out the 2007 Stanley Tucci directed movie Blind Date.

19 comments:

  1. She was amazing in Easy A - she and Tucci were so good together! Sadly for me, the only other one on this list I've seen is Lars and the Real Girl, and that was far too long ago.

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    1. Ruth you're in for a treat I assure you, the other three are well worth your time. If I had to pick one to add to your Quickflix queue it'd be The Station Agent for the chemistry between the three leads.

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  2. I also liked her in Vicky Cristina Barcelona! I've only seen her in supporting roles but she does have a strong presence. I've always been very intrigued by Good Night and Good Luck, it looks like a film I'd love.

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    1. I think VCB is the only recent Woody Allen movie I've turned off so I couldn't say whether she was good or not. Positively shame making I know.

      Clooney is very classic in general and even more so in black & white, it's worth watching just for that but it's also a fascinating and incredibly well made movie.

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  3. Ahh I LOVE Patricia Clarkson, and your picks for her are all quite solid. I wrote a post on her in April and said my five favorite roles were High Art, Far From Heaven, Dogville, Pieces of April, and Elegy, with The Station Agent being her best.

    Great great character actress.

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    1. As a Todd Haynes fan I am still (somehow) to see Far From Heaven and I couldn't get in to Dogville at all back when it first came out. I'm gonna have to check yours out as I want to know how bad my memory is for Pieces of April - to me it was a nonentity.

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  4. She is a terrific actress. I really liked Lars and the Real Girl, and Easy A was a cute, fun movie. I haven't seen the others on your list. I really want to see The Station Agent.

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    1. Lars is filled with great performances, even Kelli Garner looked good in it, it seems unfair to pick Patricia Clarkson out in this way.

      Are you on goodreads stephanie?

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  5. Patricia Clarkson should get more leading roles. I LOVE that you included Easy A. Her and Tucci are comic gold, indeed. I did see some of Blind Date on TV, and I'd love to go back and watch it all the way through. Have you seen Cairo Time? She gave a great leading performance in it.

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    1. I've got Cairo Time but I keep putting off watching it, thanks for the memory jog.

      Wouldn't you love to have parents like her and Tucci in Easy A?

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    2. No problem. Who wouldn't want them as parents?

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  6. I have two of these on my Netflix queue, although I'm so bad with names when I saw this pop up on my blog roll, I was thinking you were talking about that girl who won American Idol. I'm thinking I should add Good Night and Good Luck.

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    1. Definitely add it Alan. Not least because it's the complete opposite of From Justin to Kelly, that's the American Idol movie btw.

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  7. Fun list, Toby. I became a fan of Clarkson after seeing her in Six Feet Under, but sadly I have only seen one of these films (Easy A). Will try to catch the others sometime soon -- I've got Lars and the Real Girl high in the Netflix queue.

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    1. I didn't get past season 1 so I don't think I saw her in that. I've been surprised by how many people haven't seen Good Night and Good Luck actually, add it to Netflix too Eric!

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  8. Well now that I know who she is I do love her in both Easy A and The Station Agent (Win Win is also great). Great post and probably the best Kristen Stewart description ever.

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    1. The fact that you knew who I was talking about says more about you than it should ;)

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  9. So glad to see Lars and the Real Girl here, she played such warm, compassionate character. Have yet to see The Station Agent, but I will try to do that soon.

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    1. She really is essential in Lars, she saves Ryan Goslings life with her compassion and as I said a lesser actor would have ruined the role. She's almost the other end of the spectrum in Station Agent, a bit of a mess that needs support herself and is even better at that.

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