Friday, 17 August 2007

I LOVE Samantha Morton

I was not a huge fan of hers after watching "Sweet and Lowdown" the role that won her international attention and an Oscar nom.
She played a mute and love interest of Sean Penn's Emmet Ray, in one of Oscars favorite roles (long suffering wife/girlfriend and with a disability). But she was fantastic in it.
It was her performance in 1999’s “Jesus’ Son” that captivated me. In it she played Michelle a woman who introduces her lover (Billy Crudup) to heroin. The film is so much more than a drug dependancy film and Morton was funny, sexy, tragic and most importanly 100% believable in the film.
Since then she has proved her worth. Giving stellar turns in “Minority Report”, “Pandaemonium”, and the little seen, but widely heralded “Morvern Callar”.

For such sympathetic and warm face, she can play cold and distant so well. For a woman considered plain by Hollywood standards, she is strikingly beautiful. This was never so apparent as it was in 2002’s “In America”. In it she was luminous playing the matriarch of a Irish family struggling to survive in New York.
She centers the film.
She expertly sells every scene in which she exists. She does not make obvious choices with her performance, but instead chooses to be less showy and more direct, making it all the more frightening real.
She is an actress who in performance after performance reveals the power of her silences, her quiet, her presence.

In looking at her career on IMDB I stumbled across some very very interesting trivia, that if had seen fruition would have completely changed her career and even some movies.
Did you know the following?

She turned down the role of Lisa in Girl, Interrupted?
That is a performance I would have loved to see come to light.

She turned down the title role in Iris?
Which is good news for my Kate, but still oh so curious.

She wanted a role in Love Actually but was turned down in favor of Martine McCutcheon and Keira Knightley?
I can see the casting directors now “Hmm GREAT actress, but we need obviously pretty, can’t have our audience looking for an attraction.

She was actually the third choice to play Agatha in Minority Report; Cate Blanchett and Jenna Elfman both turned it down?
Thank God for that!!! Cate Blanchette would have made her all Galadriel, and Jenna Elfman…well….HA!

She was originally cast as Diane Arbus in Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus and as Harper Lee in Infamous?
Aside from being an amazing actor, she also has fore sight.

2007 looks like it will be a big year for Morton. She has three roles coming up that could see her being embraced by the Academy yet again.
Of course we all know about her role in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” as Mary Queen of Scots. Advance buzz is her role is very very small. That is a big ole shame, but then again this movie is all about getting Blanchett that lead Oscar, so I am not surprised that such a juicy, and historically large and important, role is rumored to be snipped down in editing. Can’t really have supporting players showing up the star can we.

She has gotten fantastic reviews for “Expired” which premiered at Cannes this year.
“Samantha Morton's vigorous and self-effacing portrayal of Claire is wonderful: We see Claire's bravery and her incredible strength to endure personal assaults and indelicacies.”- The Hollywood Reporter
The story is about a lonely, vulnerable meter maid who falls into a comically horrific relationship with a colleague incapable of emotional intimacy.

Then we have “Control” (see trailer below) about the lead singer of the UK band Joy Division. Already been seem at various festivals, the word on this film is good, with Morton accumulating a lot of the praise "...the distress of the often monosyllabic, and frequently epileptic Ian is occasionally eclipsed by Morton's astonishing, sympathetic performance as his suffering wife." - Russell Edwards, Variety

And lastly there is “Synecdoche, New York” the 2008 film directed by Charlie Kauffman. Who knows what dizzying heights he will take her?

Lets hope she continues to get cast in interesting roles, and her talent continues to get noticed. She is one of those actresses that disappear into the roles they play, so you barely notice that you are watching a person acting, you just think you are watching a person being.


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1 comment:

daniel sims said...

I love her. I was kind of hoping she would knock Cate off the screen. Oh well.