Walking and Talking (1996)Keener and Anne Heche star as long-time best friends whose relationship goes through a rough patch when Heche gets engaged. Keener is easily the best thing about this movie - she gives an appealing performance, and has nice chemistry with Liev Schrieber. I kept wanting the movie to stay with Keener, and felt a drag every time it switched back to Heche and her marriage jitters. Oh, and I will never be able to get the image of that giant, mutant mole out of my head (what the hell is he talking about? Watch and see...).
If you liked that movie at all, Catherine Keener has been in every one of Nicole Holofcener's movies. Each one gets better than the last.
What Just Happened (2008)Pretty self-indulgent "backstage Hollywood" movie based on producer Art Linson's memoir (he wrote the script), featuring Robert De Niro as a Linson stand-in. I think it's supposed to be a comedy, even though there didn't appear to be a single joke. Catherine Keener is fine in all three of her scenes, playing the usual Catherine Keener role. Barry Levinson overdirects, because that guy is not very good.
Alright, clearly I have some catching up to do (sorry, busy writing week.) So, I'll post my reviews for Days 5-7 this weekend, as if anyone needs my recommendation for films like Adaptation.A Summer in Genoa (2008)It's weird to see the cover blurb touting this as Colin Firth best performance when A Single Man, Tinker Tailor, and The King's Speech were soon to follow. The film opens with a brilliant, if somewhat cheap, teaser and features Michael Winterbottom's best soundtrack since 24-Hour Party People. Winterbottom, as usual, goes through great lengths to make the protagonists' speech sound authentic, even if they come off as assholes. Catherine Keener is pretty much the reigning queen of this type of role.
Patrick once talked about this movie on a podcast I was on, but for the life of me, I can't remember which one. Anyway he remarked that the movie was just mature and down to earth in dealing with subject matter that could have gone in so many directions. Those are my thoughts precisely. Keener is one of the more relatable performers around, and never is that truer than here. Might be my favorite entry of the Keener/Holofcener canon
Are you talking about Please Give? Then YES I would agree.
When the list for the (30) Stars of Summer came out this was to me the biggest head-scratcher. 'WHO THE HELL IS CATHERINE KEENER?' I said outloud, and why is she getting a coveted spot over Al Pacino, Laurence Olivier, Julia Roberts or Brian O'Halloran (OK, OK, OK, kidding about Olivier! :-P). That said...THE INTERPRETER (2005)Sydney Pollack's last movie is a pretty generic political thriller that milks it's once-in-a-lifetime access to the UN building in NY (looks pretty in high-def) and relies on the star power of Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman to carry the narrative over its generic plot and a black hole of a wrap-up. And Catherine Keener is in it (saw her name in the credits at the end), but, who was she and what was she doing in it? I don't drink milk, so I didn't recognize her face from the missing picture on the carton. ;-)
Your Friends & Neighbors (1998): Remember the '90s? THIS MOVIE DOES. It's all goatees and pagers and Ross and Rachel. Catherine Keener is, of course, the best (no one can swear like her), and the rest of the cast is strong. I feel sorry for these characters -- everyone's so unhappy and their relationships stink. Good thing that orchestral Metallica score is there to cheer me up!
I remember very little about that movie except that I was convinced Jason Patric was gonna be HUGE afterward.Oops.
He should have given the sauna monologue in Speed 2: Cruise Control.
Hamlet 2I'm a fairly easy mark for silly comedy, so I dug the hell out of this one but your mileage may vary. Steve Coogan is a failed writer turned inept drama teacher who mounts a production of his own masterwork, Hamlet 2. Keener is very funny as his perpetually pissed-off wife, and she plays it at just the right level so that the character isn't the one-note cartoonish shrew she easily could have been.
Death To Smoochy (2002)Robin Williams hits the right notes in this black comedy from director Danny DeVito, but the film is hurt by bland performances by Keener and Edward Norton as well as a weak final act. Interesting, but ultimately unsuccessful.