After her break out role in the ’80s classic “Fast Times At Ridgemont High,” the enigmatic and darkly charming Jennifer Jason Leigh has charted a course in film unlike any other. This month, the Alamo Drafthouse honors her varied and galvanizing career in a much deserved retrospective, aptly titled “Jennifer Jason Leigh!”
The series, which began last night and continues into May, spans Leigh’s decades-long career, which includes David Cronenberg’s “eXistenZ,” Paul Verhoeven’s “Flesh + Blood,” and Joel and Ethan Coen’s “The Hudsucker Proxy.” One of her most recognizable films opened the series, Stephen King’s “Dolores Claiborne,” in which she went head to head opposite Kathy Bates in a bear of a role.
Of particular note is the criminally under-appreciated “The Anniversary Party,” which she wrote, produced, and directed with her friend Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”) in 2001. A Hollywood insider satire way ahead of its time, it stars Cumming and Leigh as a married director and actress who invite all of their friends over for an anniversary party. Playing exaggerated versions of themselves with equal parts wit and self-deprecation, the film stars John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, real life married couple Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Beals, Parker Posey, Jane Adams, and Mary-Lynn Rajskub. (In case that doesn’t sell you, imagine all of those people doing ecstasy in a pool together.)
Here is the full line-up:
March 30: “Dolores Claiborne” (1995)
April 5: “Miami Blues” (1990)
April 10: “Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle” (1994)
April 12: “Single White Female” (1992) & “Heart of Midnight” (1988)
April 17: “Last Exit to Brooklyn” (1989)
April 19: “The Anniversary Party” (2001)
April 25: “The Hitcher” (1986)
April 30: “Georgia” (1995)
May 1: “The Hudsucker Proxy” (1994)
May 2: “eXistenZ” (1999)
May 8: “Flesh + Blood” (1985)
All films will be screened in 35mm, with the exception of “Heart of Midnight.” For more information on the series, and the full line-up, visit the Alamo Drafthouse website.