Catherine Keener is not exactly someone you would describe as “up and coming” as she has been appearing in films for over twenty years and was nominated for Oscars for her roles in Being John Malcovich and Capote. Despite her long career and award recognition I still feel Keener deserves a bit more praise.
What has brought her to my attention were her roles in last year’s Synecdoche, New York and the brilliant but difficult to watch An American Crime which I saw just a few weeks ago. In An American Crime Keener plays a seriously disturbed mother who ultimately commits some pretty foul acts against a pre-Juno Ellen Page. Despite playing such a despicable character Keener brought humanity to a role than otherwise would have been impossible to relate to.
Catherine Keener doesn’t limit herself to just roles in difficult films, Synecdoche being brilliant but lots of hard work, as she has recently been in lighter fare such as The 40 Year Old Virgin and Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief. For years Keener has been for me one of many actresses who seems to be in every film yet whose name I can’t remember, but no more.
Catherine Keener is simply a great actress who hopefully one day will be talked of in the same way as Meryl Streep is now. Ignoring the horror of Julie & Julia that is.