Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Filmography: Marcia Gay Harden

Marcia Gay Harden is one of those actresses that pops up in small roles in tons of movies, but never snags a leading role. That's a shame, because when you give this lady a scene to chew, she tears it apart, in the best way imaginable.

Harden got her start on television in the 1980s, but soon moved on to stage work and film roles. She's been nominated twice each at the Emmys, the Tonys and the Oscars.

She's made a name for herself in small but effective roles onscreen. You can catch her in theaters now as stage mother to Ellen Page in Whip It.

1990 Miller's Crossing (Verma Bernbaum)~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Harden made her film debut as a femme fatale of sorts in the Coen brothers gangster movie, Miller's Crossing. She's a genuinely perfect fit in the Coens' quirky world.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1992 Crush (Lane), Used People (Norma)
1994 Safe Passage (Cynthia)
1996 The Spitfire Grill (Shelby Goddard), The Daytrippers (Libby), The First Wives Club (Dr. Leslie Rosen), Spy Hard (Miss Cheevus)
1997 Flubber (Dr. Sara Jean Reynolds)
1998 Desperate Measures (Dr. Samantha Hawkins), Meet Joe Black (Allison Parrish)
2000 Space Cowboys (Sara Holland), Pollock (Lee Krasner)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It was a shocker when Harden upset projected favorite Kate Hudson for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2000, but maybe it shouldn't have been. As Jackson Pollock's long-suffering but patient wife, she evokes great sympathy and knocks a supporting performance out of the park. When Harden screams passionately to her husband, "I want you to paaaaaaaaint!", we're right there with her.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2001 Gaudi Afternoon (Frankie Stevens)
2003 Mystic River (Celeste Boyle), Mona Lisa Smile (Nancy Abbey)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In Mystic River, Harden is Celeste, the suspicious wife of the troubled Dave Boyle. Her character slowly goes from blind faith in her husband to overwhelming doubt and mistrust. Harden courageously shows us every stage of a wife's deteriorating confidence in her husband's character, and she earned her second Academy Award nomination for her efforts.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2004 Welcome to Mooseport (Grace Sutherland), P.S. (Missy Goldberg)
2005 Bad News Bears (Liz Whitewood), American Gun (Janet Huttenson)
2006 American Dreamz (First Lady), The Dead Girl (Melora), The Hoax (Edith Irving), Canvas (Mary Marino)
2007 The Invisible (Diane Powell), The Mist (Mrs. Carmody), Into the Wild (Billie McCandless), Rails & Ties (Megan Stark)
2009 The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler (Janina Sendler, TV), The Maiden Heist (Rose), Whip It (Brooke Cavender)


Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Good woman indeed. She need a leading role...but like Diane Wiest she's just as good being a good supporter.

Alex in Movieland said...

I keep telling myself I'm gonna watch Pollock again. Mediocre movie, but I remember her as being terrific!

Ellen said...

Love Harden, but I thought Laura Linney was every bit as good in Mystic River, even with less screentime.

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