When you discuss "movie stars," the real definition has to do with both commercial bankability and overall appeal, and it's a term that can be abused wildly. I also think it's too restrictive, because there are tons of actors who may not be the name that you put on a poster or the name that gets something financed, but audiences who love them love them wildly because, film after film and show after show, they make choices that stand out, or they take ordinary dialogue and spin it in just the right way, or because we just plain like to see what they do.
That's Judy Greer all over. From her breakthrough role as Fern in "Jawbreaker" to memorable smaller appearances in "Three Kings" and "What Planet Are You From" and "What Women Want" to bigger appearances in "13 Going On 30" and "Adaptation" and "The Village," she built a reputation as someone who could take even a thankless role as "the best friend" and turn it into something that stands out. I've been a fan for so long now that it seems crazy to me that even as recently as 2008, in "27 Dresses," she was still considered something of a discovery for many viewers. It was her work in "The Descendants" that seems to have kicked open some bigger doors for her, and I'm always rooting for filmmakers to give her something great to do.
In Kimberly Peirce's new take on Stephen King's "Carrie," she's playing the part that Betty Buckley played in Brian De Palma's 1976 film. She's the one adult who seems to be genuinely upset on behalf of Carrie White, the main character, following a traumatic moment in a locker room when she gets her first period. She's the school's gym teacher, and she is the one who devises the punishment that unfortunately escalates everything.
I sort of forgot to mention another thing Judy Greer does that is particularly noteworthy, but I sure brought it up when I walked into the room to talk to Greer about "Carrie" last week. I adore "Archer," the animated spy comedy that is one of the filthiest, funniest things on TV. She plays Cheryl, a venal little office drone who turned out to be independently wealthy. The things they let her say on the show blow my mind on a consistent basis. It's fantastic writing, and Greer seems to revel in being one of the worst people ever. One of her favorite snarled replies on the show is "You're not my supervisor!", and while I joked with her when I sat down that I wanted to just do five solid minutes of "Archer" quotes, I didn't expect I'd actually get to hear her drop one on me mid-interview.
Needless to say, this is now one of my favorite moments of the year.
"Carrie" arrives in theaters on Friday. "Archer" returns in January. And Judy Greer is always awesome.
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
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