Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

Top 10 Patricia Clarkson Characters On Screen

By Tom Dolby and Abdi Nazemian | Indiewire August 27, 2014 at 9:25AM

Why have we been playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon when we should be playing Six Degrees of Patricia Clarkson? Since first appearing on the big screen as Kevin Costner's wife in "The Untouchables," Clarkson has become untouchable as an actress. She can seemingly do it all, from drama to comedy, from period pieces to modern stories, from German accents to Southern ones. In honor of her latest turn as a mother reuniting her family for one "Last Weekend" at their Lake Tahoe home, we thought it was time to take a look back at some of the greatest characters created by this greatest of character actresses.
0
Patricia Clarkson in "Last Weekend"
Patricia Clarkson in "Last Weekend"

1. Greta in "High Art"

Clarkson's breakthrough role was as Greta, the heroin-addicted girlfriend to Ally Sheedy's renowned photographer. Clarkson takes this supporting role and turns it into pure magic. Her Greta is like Marlene Dietrich stuck in a Warhol Factory film, and she steals every scene she's in. She even steals the preview, as seen here.


2.  Sarah O'Connor in "Six Feet Under"

Though Clarkson is best known for her big-screen roles, one of her best was on the small screen, as the artistic, emotional Aunt Sarah on Alan Ball's "Six Feet Under." Sarah was one of the highlights of the groundbreaking show, and you can see why in this fabulous, drunken scene where she declares, "Everything happens for a reason. What a crock. You say there's a reason George fucking Bush got re-elected." Clarkson nails the show's darkly comedic tone, but also rips your heart out when she says, "Shit goes wrong because there's evil in the world like me."


3. Olivia in "The Station Agent"

As Olivia, an artist dealing with the death of her young son, Clarkson created one of her most memorable roles in this indie gem. Here, she gives Peter Dinklage a piece of her mind, in a scene that proves how well-deserved her National Board of Review and National Society of Film Critics awards were.


READ MORE: Sundance Selects Acquires North American Rights to "Last Weekend," Starring Patricia Clarkson

4. Juliette Grant in "Cairo Time"

Clarkson is often cast in supporting roles. In "Cairo Time," she earns lady lady status as a married magazine editor who finds herself falling in love with both a new man and a new city. Her luminous performance, reminiscent of Katharine Hepburn's iconic tour de force in "Summertime," makes one long for all the romantic leads she should be playing.


5. Eleanor Fine in "Far From Heaven"

Although Julianne Moore is the center core of Todd Haynes' moving homage to Douglas Sirk, Clarkson delivers the kind of supporting role she can be counted on for as Cathy's concerned best friend. Clarkson brings heart and soul to the stylized film, finding the substance within the style.


6.  Vera in "Dogville"

Director Lars Von Trier is known for putting his actresses through hell and back. Bjork famously said she would never act again after making her first film with the controversial director. But the results are often worth it, as evidenced in this harrowing, brilliant scene in which Clarkson does what one might think impossible: she makes Nicole Kidman cry.


7.  Joy Burns in "Pieces of April"

Clarkson earned well-deserved Oscar, Golden Globe, and SAG nominations for her role in this Thanksgiving film. As a mother struggling with breast cancer, Clarkson delivers both heart and the humor. She also proves to have a special knack for bringing out the best in Tom Cruise's loves (Katie Holmes in "Pieces of April," Nicole Kidman in "Dogville" and Penelope Cruz in "Vicky Christina Barcelona"). If Mimi Rogers ever wants to stage a comeback, she knows who her costar should be.


8. Dagmar Berman in "Lars and the Real Girl"

A movie that asks the audience to sympathize with a man who falls in love with a blow-up doll demands the finest of actors, and this movie has them in spades. As the doctor who treats Bianca the blow-up doll, Clarkson brings profound empathy to the absurd premise.


9. Melinda Moores in "The Green Mile"

You probably wouldn't know it given the wide range of roles she's played and accents she's perfected, but Clarkson is a Louisiana native, and she channels her roots in her heartbreaking performance in "The Green Mile."


10. Rosemary in "Easy A"

While Clarkson excels at the kinds of serious dramatic roles that should've won her an Oscar (or three) by now, she is equally adept at broad comedy, as evidenced by her hilarious role in "Easy A" as Emma Stone's delightfully eccentric mother. Leave it to Clarkson to sell a line like, "We love you no matter what the sexual orientation of your opposite-sex sex partner."


Given Clarkson's breadth of work, we had to omit a painfully long list of roles and films from this list. So you tell us: what's your favorite Patricia Clarkson role?

Tom Dolby is the writer and co-director of "Last Weekend" (which stars Patricia Clarkson), in theaters, VOD, and iTunes on August 29 from Sundance Selects. Abdi Nazemian is a screenwriter, novelist, and creative executive at Water's End Productions—and a dedicated fan of all things Patricia Clarkson. Find out more at www.LastWeekendFilm.com.

This article is related to: Last Weekend, Patricia Clarkson, Patricia Clarkson, Lists, Features






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More