Sunday, January 09, 2011

Supporting Actress Blog-a-Thon: Spell It With Peas

You must know how overjoyed I am that StinkyLulu is back for yet another year with the Supporting Actress Blog-a-Thon. It's the most wonderful chance to read so many wide-ranging odes of appreciation for so many performances that might've otherwise gone unsung. Please do head on over there and read as many as you can.

Really, the Supporting Actress Blog-a-Thon is representative of so much that I like about the conversation that happens on movie blogs around this time of the year. It's the sharing of these small nuggets of what made movies joyful for us this year. This happens on the Slate Movie Club too, for example (another something you should spend this lazy Sunday reading from cover to cover), where I get to share in the fact that I'm not the only one who really dug The Crazies or Michael Shannon in The Runaways. It's that sense of show-and-tell sharing that makes my passion for doing dorky things like movie awards here on Low Res (coming soon -- but maybe not too soon; I want to make sure I've seen a bunch of movies that have slipped through the cracks; definitely by Oscar Week) have a little bit of meaning.

Anyway! My point is this: I thought I was the only one going crazy for Patricia Clarkson in Easy A. The combination of year-end retrospection and the recent DVD release have all added up to a kind of starburst within the collective unconscious. Suddenly everyone's all up in my Clarkson island. More accurately, it's been love for Clarkson and Stanley Tucci, her on-screen husband and co-winner of whatever award show decides to give out a Best On-Screen Marriage award.

There's a sharp divide in Easy A between the performances that get it and the ones that don't. I suppose with a movie where the tone rides the line so hard between arch and vulgar, not every actor is going to keep up. But maybe I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth; maybe it's because Amanda Bynes and Aly Michalka and Cam Gigandet (and, yes, Lisa Kudrow) are so wildly off the mark that performances like Clarkson's and Tucci's and Dan Byrd's and Thomas Haden Church's (not to mention Emma Stone, who we can all agree was fantastic) really stand out. Whatever the reason, Clarkson manages to radiate an easy sense of belonging -- you can see immediately who her character is, why she married the man she married, why her daughter turned out the way she did. It's just scene after scene of effortless charm and humor and smartly deployed theatricality. I could watch her scenes strung together every day for a year and still giggle at her trying to suss out what curse word starts with a "T."



Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

YAY, love this pick. I've been singing praises of her to anyone who'd listen. Everything about her is just so charming and it's the weirdest throw-a-way moments I love most. Like her ten seconds of Southern accent (someone get her to a Tennessee Williams adaptation now).

Cal said...

Clarkson and Tucci are so adorable that an "On-Screen Marriage" prize should be made in their honour. It's amazing how many actresses Tucci manages to strike an on-screen bond with, all the way from Cher to Anne Hathaway.

Esi said...

Woo!! Patricia Clarkson is my movie wife; completely brilliant in all things she does, I've loved her every since Station Agent. Watching Easy A, I would have happily watched this family's reality TV show all day long.