In praise of….. Patricia

I thought it might be fun every once in a while to let people know thoughts on some of my favorite actors. In most cases it will be the females, as I tend to have more faves, than the males. How homosexual of me 🙂

First cab of the rank.

Patricia Clarkson.

Patricia Clarkson first came to my attention in the acclaimed indie film High Art (1998), in which she played (magnificently) a German drug addicted former model. Actually I think everyone stood up and took notice of her in that film. Her first film role was as Elliot Ness’ wife in Brian DePalma’s The Untouchables (1987). Ever since High Art I have always been happy when I know she is to appear in a film. I often go and see the film because she is in it. Of course, some of the films aren’t that great, but mostly she makes some pretty good choices.

She has appeared twice on Broadway. In the hit revival of John Guare’s  The House Of Blue Leaves (replacement cast) (1986), and in Richard Greenberg’s Eastern Standard (1987). Of course she is mostly known for her film roles.

She is a native of New Orleans, now living in New York’s West Village.

She is foremost known as a supporting character actress. She has an incredible sexy husky voice. I think she is one of those actors, that often when in a scene, you can’t keep your eyes off. Actually I think she is very attractive and sexy.

The next time I was really impressed with her performance was as the best friend to Julianne Moore in Todd Hayne’s superb film, Far From Heaven (1982). She really nailed the stylised nuances that Todd Haynes needed to make his film successful. She was always going on about the catering, I seem to recall. And her turning on her best friend was very icy and painful.

Then came a big year (1983) that really cemented her in my mind.

Her roles in The Station Agent, and Pieces Of April (in which she received an Academy Award nomination as supporting actress). In both performances she showed both a tough and vulnerable side to her characters, that was incredibly moving.

Since then she has popped up regularly in interesting roles, working with an incredible roster of excellent directors. (Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese).

Other notable roles were as the psychiatrist in the excellent Lars & The Real Girl, the hilarious southern belle in Woody Allen’s Whatever Works, and the psychotic runaway in Scorcese’s Shutter Island, in which her powerful scene was a real stand out. And in the underated film Elegy, as Ben Kingsley’s part time lover.

The only time I have been disappointed was in the role of Margaret White in the TV remake of Carrie. But the whole film was a disaster.

Aside from her Oscar nod, she has also won 2 Emmy’s for her guest role in HBO’s Six Feet Under. (of which I have not seen)

And for all you fans, she is next up in her first leading role, in which she has to carry the film. Cairo Time (opening here on Aug 19).

In this film she plays a diplomats wife who enters into an affair with he Egyptian guide. I will definately bee seeing that film, and will post a review soon.

I have left out many other fine performances . Look her up on IMBd (I haven’t learnt how to add links yet – Wanda I need a lesson if you know).

With Julianne Moore in “Far From Heaven” (we must go through the catering list)

“The Station Agent”

Woody Allen’s “Whatever Works”

Catch her soon in “Cairo Time” released in a couple of weeks


Filed under movies

5 responses to “In praise of….. Patricia

  1. Wanda

    Happy to teach you to add links, Babs… It’s easy.

    And I love Patricia Clarkson too!

  2. Thanks.
    I don’t know what it is about her, other than she is a great actress. I just adore watching her, and her voice is divine.

  3. Scheppo

    I agree. I love her! And you HAVE to see Six Feet Under. One of the best. x

  4. Capt america

    Side note: she and Campbell Scott use to be quite the item. Check out their frisson in what is perhaps the darkest, most depressing film about Hollywood ever: The Dying Gaul

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