Sunday, January 07, 2007

FYC: Pam Ferris in Children of Men

The film: A highly-praised dystopian action film set in 2027. It has much to say about our mortality, and is a stunning technical achievement -- more seemless, affecting battle scenes I have not seen. See Dargis for a graceful appreciation.
The actor: Heretofore unknown to me, save for her part as the aggressive battle axe Ms. Trunchbull in 1996's Matilda. Welsh by way of Kiwi. Also known for Aunt Marge in one of the Harry Potters and for her long career in British TV shows like "Rosemary & Thyme" and "Darling Buds of May."
The character: Miriam, a nurse-turned-rebel who can tangle with the best of 'em. Portly and dowdy: not your typical vision of an action heroine (save the dreadlocks), but she matches Clive Owen step for step. It's a true supporting performance. No flash, all texture. Cuaron could've cast a babe in this role, and the movie would've withered. Instead, we have this wonderful, mysterious, complete human being who quietly electrifies the movie's nervous system.
The moment: When she's describing her work on the frontline of extinction -- delivering humanity's last babies before our species goes inexplicably sterile. It could've been a theatrical monologue, but Ferris turns it into a profoundly understated bullet point on her war-torn resume. It makes her final scene all the more excruciating.

This post is part of StinkyLulu's Supporting Actress Blogathon. What actor would you nominate in the category? My runner-ups to Pam Ferris: Laura Harring and Pell James in The King and Diane Lane in Hollywoodland.

9 comments:

NATHANIEL R said...

i wasn't quite as wow'ed but I agree that she's very well cast and thankfully "real" as these type of parts go.

good contribution to a blog-a-thon I'm just loving.

J.J. said...

For me, this was kind of about the absence of "wow."

Ehil Bent said...

I had no idea that was Miss Trunchbull. I really enjoyed Children of Men, but hey... Inland Empire. Tell me about it.

Craig Hickman said...

You've made me want to see the film for this performance.

I like monologues.

SamuraiFrog said...

I didn't even realize Pam Ferris was in this movie. Yet another reason for me to go and see it.

Kamikaze Camel said...

She was really good, wasn't she?

Her final moment on screen was quite saddening, though.

Catherine Cantieri said...

I loved every single thing about this film, so it was hard for any one thing to stand out, but I agree that Ferris's performance was fantastic. Her scenes with Clive Owen were so tense, so sharp. It was like a luxury to watch these two actors engage each other. Thanks for the great post!

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