Flickers of Passion: Celia Johnson in Brief Encounter
No one has captured the complexities of forbidden love with more intimacy than Celia Johnson in David Lean’s classic romance.
Outlier Looking In: Emmanuelle Devos in A Christmas Tale
Amid the tumultuous family dynamics on display in Arnaud Desplechin’s A Christmas Tale, Emmanuelle Devos delivers a performance of remarkable subtlety and lyricism.
Beauty and the Beast: Ralph Meeker in Something Wild
Known for playing sexy noir toughs, Ralph Meeker underwent a startling transformation as the anguished, slovenly male lead in Jack Garfein’s psychological drama.
Constant Compass: Uma Das Gupta in Pather Panchali
Writer Durga Chew-Bose explores her personal connection to Uma Das Gupta’s quietly captivating performance as a carefree young girl in the masterful opening installment of The Apu Trilogy.
All-American Medea: Shirley Stoler in The Honeymoon Killers
A tragedian at heart, Shirley Stoler found her Medea in the role of a glowering bandit on the run in Leonard Kastle’s seedy true-crime drama.
Experience Necessary: Deborah Harry in Videodrome
Traveling through the subterranean portals of Videodrome like an introverted wraith, Deborah Harry carries herself with the wry, burned-out, but still titillated instincts of a voyager buying a one-way ticket for the outer limits. A vivid, smallish p…
High Brow: Gloria Grahame in In a Lonely Place
Any paean to noir seductress nonpareil Gloria Grahame—mine included—can’t hope to surpass this encomium from Boyd McDonald, one of her most ardent and articulate devotees. Saluting Grahame’s performance in In a Lonely Place (1950) in his esse…