Sunday, December 19, 2010

Take Three: Season 1 Wrap

Craig here with a quick pre-Xmas wrap-up of season #1 of Take Three. If you have a very short memory, that'd be the Sunday Film Experience series which looked at three notable performances from a supporting or character actor's work. 

The Big Cs: Considine, Cartwright, Cheadle

Last week’s actor Paddy Considine was the last Take Three for a spell (it's seasonal shenanigans, then everything Oscar here at The Film Experience). We began all the way back in May with Veronica Cartwright. All 29 Take Threes have been a pleasure to write. I've often found new admiration for the actors featured. It's fascinating what a spot of research and a few rewatches can do: who knew that I’d come to realise how much of a Peter Lorre fan I was had I not written about a trio of his perfs.

I veered from the strict definition of what constitutes a character actor/actress whilst featuring Don Cheadle, Kim Basinger, Steve Buscemi and Miranda Richardson, but the division these days is often blurry. With actors who alternate between lead and support,  “the rule” was always, where possible, to write about supporting work. On this note, I always saw James Franco as a solid support actor, so I cheekily wedged him in before the likely Oscar nomination and the eventual leading man career.

Coolidge, Washington, Ritter

I was overjoyed to read the comments on Jennifer Coolidge  and discover others excited by her comedic allure. My love of a trio of choice ‘genre gals’, Radha Mitchell, Melissa George and Rosamund Pike, was more controversial but those contemporary character actresses have seen their unfair share of derision, hence the Take Three love. Amanda Plummer, Kerry Washington and Emily Watson were easy choices since their work has been consistently bold and interesting. Another sterling trio – Laurence Fishburne, Paul Schneider and Harry Dean Stanton – made my job a weekly delight.

I'm keen to look at more classic Hollywood actors next year but we covered the always-wonderful Thelma Ritter and sturdy-as-steel Sterling Hayden. Alan Arkin was a choice to bridge the character acting generation. On more contemporary choices like Anna Faris and David Warner I spent more time actually watching clips on YouTube than I did watching the films in their entirety. (Faris in The House Bunny – although it wasn't an actual "take" – and Warner in The Man with Two Brains are two not-so-guilty pleasures.)

Foster, Huston & Hayden

My personal favorite Takes? It  was so much fun to research and write about Dianne Wiest, Deborah Kara Unger, Terence Stamp, Grace JonesBen Foster and Anjelica Huston, (who I enjoyed so much that I included an Anjelica Addendum over at my own blog, Dark Eye Socket).

Take Three will return in February with a new batch of beloved faces, less heralded players and surprise curveballs. Thanks for your ongoing participation with this series. The positive, constructive, curious and interesting comments from Nathaniel's loyal readership has kept this series going.

Lined up as possible candidates next season: Carol Kane, Grace Zabriskie, Emily Mortimer, Charles S. Dutton, Julie Walters and Gloria Grahame. Plus ??? Do please offer suggestions for Take Three  in the comments.


RJ said...

Jeremie Renier is one my favorites, and he often is great supporter in movies if you're looking for the foreign route ... Lora's Silence, Summer Hours, etc.

Craig Bloomfield said...

RJ - Fantastic suggestion. I really enjoy his work and have seen a good many of his films. Thanks, he's on the list for next season for sure.

Dominik said...

Joan Cusack
Catherine Keener
firt came to my mind
Other possibilities I could think of:
Marisa Tomei
Harvey Keitel
Danny Aiello
Ed Harris
Christopher Lloyd
Richard Griffiths
Chris Cooper
Jennifer Tilly
Maggie Smith
Ok that's probably more than enough for the moment...

Robert said...

Really do love the series Craig. There's nothing else on the internet like it (not that I've found anyway).

And I must offer up my favorite thesps for your consideration: Max von Sydow, Rod Steiger, Gong Li, Shelly Winters

Adam said...


Dominik said...

One more:
Joan Allen

Dominik said...

One more:
Joan Allen

MrW said...

I'd love to see you consider some of the following (I hope I'm naming not too many you covered already):

Margaret Rutherford
Peter Ustinov
Angela Lansbury
Gladys Cooper
Maggie Smith
Kenneth Mars
Shelley Winters
Frances McDormand
Ida Lupino
John Goodman
Patricia Clarkson
Chris Cooper
Eugene Levy
Mercedes McCambridge
Geraldine Chaplin
Robert Morley
Maureen Stapleton
J.K. Simmons
Wendy Hiller

Daryn G said...

Brad Dourif
Shirley Henderson
Joan Cusack
Peter Coyote

John said...

I like the idea of supporting actors from Hollywood's golden age..

Angelina Lansbury, Myrna Loy, Shelley Winters, Hattie McDaniel, Edward Everett Horton, Robert Montgomery, Lauren Bacall.. ?

Silencio said...

Charles S. Dutton!!!!!

/3rtfu11 said...

Irma P Hall
S Epatha Merkerson
CCH Pounder
Elizabeth Berkley
Stephen Rea
Mary Stuart Masterson
Haviland Morris
Danny Glover
Alfre Woodard
David Strathairn
Genevieve Bujold
Kimberly Scott

adri said...

Diane Venora is one of my favorites. Her Gertrude in the Ethan Hawke Hamlet is the best one I've seen. How I wish I could have seen her play the lead role of Hamlet at the Public Theatre!

I'd also be interested in: Sophie Marceau, Fanny Ardant, James Mason, Ciaran Hinds, Hugh Griffiths, Jack MacGowran, Tom Courtney, Rita Tushingham, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Stephen Dillane, Sam Neill.

And put me down as a second or third vote for the already suggested: Robert Morley, Geraldine Chaplin, Shirley Henderson, Harvey Keitel, Stephen Rea, Peter Ustinov, Jennifer Tilly.

Leehee said...

One more vote for both Dame Maggie Smith and J.K. Simmons. Both would make a fine, fine entry and I think you will have fun looking at their various roles. I certainly have. :-)

Other suggestions:
*Charlotte Rampling
*Isabella Rossellini
*Kyra Sedgwick
*Austin Pendelton

Tallsonofagun said...

I was just thinking about making a recommendation for an article on the most underated, but continuously thriving contemporary character actresses. Although I was thinking more along the lines of those that pop up in everything and people recognize them, but few really know their names even though they often steal the scenes from the bigger stars. Some of my absolute favorites that thrill me everytime I see them in something are:

Beth Grant (Sordid Lives, Little Miss Sunshine)
Celia Weston (Flirting With Disaster, Dead Man Walking)
Margo Martindale (Paris, je t'aime, Million Dollar Baby)
Lois Smith (Fried Green Tomatoes, Please Give)
Missi Pyle (Galaxy Quest, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory)
And already mentioned Grace Zabriskie.

Craig Bloomfield said...

Robert - Thanks so much for the support and kind words. Of course it goes right back at you!... von Sydow is one of my very favourite actors, so he's a dead cert. Thanks.

Craig Bloomfield said...

Thanks to all the members for your suggestions. Some are genius ideas, some I've already chalked up for the next season, some are nice surprises and all are great choices. Thanks. Expect as many as possible on Take Three next year!

Tallsonofagun said...

God, how could I forget Lucy Punch (Hot Fuzz, Being Julia)?