Wednesday, November 1, 2017

SALUTE TO A FAMOUS, NOT FAMOUS ARTIST

Here's a not very pretty picture of her that I've seen here and there.

As an actress In Los Angeles, Frances McDormand was passed over -- told she was too old, too fat, too young, too thin, too blond, too dark, too tall, too short, until she appeared in the Coen brother's film Fargo in 1996, as Madge, the policewoman -- fearless, down to earth, tender, perceptive.

Also tough. Bluntly honest in saying what needed to be said, and doing what needed to be done.

She's 60 now; she was 39 then, married to filmmaker Joel Cohen since 1984 and starred in various films by the Coens. Private life stuff: Mr. & Mrs. Cohen adopted a son; Frances has let it be known that she hates being photographed; doesn't wear makeup when she is off the set; doesn't have a full-length mirror; never watches the monitor while filming; hates making selfies with fans. I haven't found any other personal things she's told reporters but it's her acting that I want to talk about.

Frances McD creates a real person in every project. While you're watching the story unfold you don't think of who she is. The fact is, she's a very successful famous actress who is not name-famous, not a celebrity. She just connects with what she's playing and every element of the person's environment -- the locale, the culture, the public and private way of the person thinks, speaks, what the person believes in.

Hey, isn't this what method actors do? Sure. Think of one of your favorite stars -- watching him/her you know a lot about that star as you are involved and touched by his/her work. I didn't know till today when I looked Frances up in the Wikipedia, that it was France McDormand with Gene Hackman in Mississippi Burning in deeply touching scenes I will never forget.

Credits: Frances McDormand is one of the 23 performers who have achieved the 'triple crown' of acting -- Academy Award for Fargo (1996), Tony Award for the Broadway play Good People (2011), and an Emmy Award for the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge (2014). She has starred in Coen brother's Blood Simple (1984), Raising Arizona (1987), The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), Burn After Reading (2008), Hail Caesar! (2016); was nominated as Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress for Mississippi Burning (1988), Almost Famous (2000), and North Country (2005). She made her Broadway debut in the 1984 revival of Awake and Sing, and received a Tony Award nomination for her performance as Stella Kowalski in the 1988 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. In 2008 she starred on Broadway in the revival of The Country Girl, and received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Play.

Frances McD is indeed succeeding, and it ain't her name or her looks. We'll be seeing her in a new film Three Billboards in November (official trailer is below) where she plays (according to her,) a not lovable, tough, profane, humane woman, who shocks us when we see her telling off a young policemen, with cuss words that writer Em won't quote here because it might stop people from reading this salute to a uniquely inspiring woman, actress, artist.


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