Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Who Excels at Playing a Not Very Bright Woman

One of the films I saw at the Traverse City Film Festival was SUNLIGHT JR. with Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon playing the most down and out couple I have seen in a long time. They seemed far too old for their parts, and also, although I love Naomi Watts in almost every movie, I feel she was miscast here. It should have been played by an actress who was younger and could nail a not-very-bright, blue-collar woman. We could think of a lot of men who play this sort of part well, but what woman made you believe that she was somewhat unable to cope with the world.

The first one I came up with is Michelle Williams who has played this sort of woman wonderfully in several movies now. WENDY AND LUCY comes to mind as well as BLUE VALENTINE and SAVE THE WALTZ.

Who else?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too old now, but Kathleen Wilhoite is one. She played Susan Lewis's sister on ER.


Jeff M.

Richard R. said...

Janet Margolin was superb as Lisa Brandt in DAVID AND LISA.

Chris said...

Juliette Lewis does a good job as well.

Funny about that film festival. A couple of my good friends were there. I always wonder in those situations if they bumped into you without any of you even knowing it. The world is so very small sometimes.

Todd Mason said...

Maria Bamford. The very late Sharon Tate. Ellie Kemper, among several of the cast of THE OFFICE. Tatiana Maslany.

Erik Donald France said...

Uma Thurman in Hysterical Blindness. Maybe a low EQ is closer to the point.

Anonymous said...

English actress Jane Horrocks (who played Bubble in Absolutely Fabulous) is always playing "dim bulb" types--usually for comic effect, but she did a great job in the movie "Little Voice" as a vocal prodigy dominated and exploited by others.

Deb

pattinase (abbott) said...

Good one, Deb, Erik and Todd. ALthough I don't really remember Maria Bamford.

pattinase (abbott) said...

what happened to Janet Margolin? THe last I saw her was thirty years ago in an early Allen movie.

Anonymous said...

Patti, she died 20 years ago of ovarian cancer.

Can't believe I forgot Juliette Lewis. Good one, Chris,

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Very sad, Jeff.

Olivia V. Ambrogio said...

Not exactly blue-collar, but: Goldie Hawn; Amy Adams; Carole Lombard.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, good ones. I can't believe I didn't think of Goldie Hawn. And Amy Adams is perfect.

John said...

Debra Winger was good at those parts back in the 80s and early 90s.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes! I miss her.

Charles Gramlich said...

Juliette Lewis

Richard R. said...

Big difference between playing a ditzy babe and a mentally handicapped girl or woman.

Erik Donald France said...

Another one came to mind: Drea de Matteo as Adriana in The Sopranos, . . .

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, Rick. Very true.
I wonder what happened to her. Have to check IMDB.

Todd Mason said...

Bamford was most visible recently on the new season of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, but is more often a standup or voiceover actor than actor. But:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFHmNrxkuFU

THE MARIA BAMFORD SHOW.

Todd Mason said...

And, of course, Debra Winger wasn't acting when making stupid arguments for Roman Polanski being given a pass for teen-rape in the '70s...artists such as he, doncha know, need to be forgiven their foibles. But she's still acting, as I'm sure you've found.

Kelly Robinson said...

Nancy Allen. So great in Blow-Up. A dip with depth.