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Actress a Day: Joan Allen

My fingers were itchy for some sketching. So let's get back to Actress a Day...

Why Joan Allen today? 
Two reasons...

1) She finally nabbed a new leading role! She'll headline A Good Marriage which is based on a Stephen King short story about a woman named Darcy who discovers her husband and the father of her children has been leading a gruesome secret life. No word yet on who will play the evil husband but apparently the wife's role is juicy. Yay! We need some Joan back in our lives, don't we? [src]

2) In my failed rush toward Toronto I forgot to mention that I was a special guest on the Award Circuit Power Hour this week where we discussed festival buzz, the Best Actress and the Best Supporting Actress races. One of the things they do on the Podcast is a game called "Give Them an Oscar" and the holy name of Joan Allen was invoked. You can listen here.

So... what would you give Joan an Oscar for? Do tell in the comments.

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Reader Comments (22)

Best Supporting Actress - Joan Allen in The Ice Storm.

Way better than Kim Basinger was that year.

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric C.

Best Actress for THE UPSIDE OF ANGER back in 2005. But she wasn't even nominated....

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterferdi

I know I'm supposed to say what ferdi said but I'll go with that Bourne movie. I think the last one. Not that I loved her that much but she was really precise as a woman in a man's world.

And why did you forget to mention the podcast? Do you hate Award Circuit and freedom or something? (Has that gotten old or not yet?)

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

I do not say this lightly and I've put legitimate thought into this, but I consider Joan's work in THE UPSIDE OF ANGER as one of the - maybe, five - best [female] performances of the last decade. The movie falters on occasion, maybe more, but that performance is just a masterclass in comedy, drama, cinematic maternal instinct and all around awesomeness.

(Also, all things being equal she was quite good in that Lifetime biopic on Georgia O'Keefe.)

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

Should have one Supporting for "The Crucible" AND "Pleasantville"
(for which she was not even Nominate...)

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

Allen's awesome, but there's nothing off the top of my head that screams she should have won for that.

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4rtful

Probably the biggest disappointment of the newest Bourne movie was that it touted Allen and then featured her for all of thirty seconds. I wouldn't say I'm a major fan of hers (I still haven't seen what I hear is her career-best work in Nixon) I definitely miss her presence in Hollywood. She elevates any project she's involved with. I still can't believe her downward slide occurred directly after her "Why isn't this an Oscar-winning or least nominated"-performance in Upside.

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

I loved her in The Upside of Anger, The Bourne Supremacy and The Ice Storm.

Definitely ranks up there with Sigourney Weaver and Christina Ricci performance wise in The Ice Storm.

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBhuray

Since the podcast, I've thought about it and it would be for "Pleasantville" with "The Upside of Anger" close behind.

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClayton Davis

Upside or Pleasantville for me. Nixon probably should have been an easy win that year, though.
Is it time to rename this feature? An actress a day is awfully ambitious. Actress-sketchual?

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Agree on the missed nomination for The Upside of Anger. She and Costner were robbed!

"A Good Marriage" is a rather gruesome, but realistic, story in a book full of gruesome, realistic tales. Should be a good one.

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

Joan Allen's work in "The Upside of Anger" is my favorite female performance of the last decade along with Tilda Swinton in "Julia." I actually, for the first and only time since, did not watch the Oscar ceremony awarding 2005 movies because I was so crushed and angry at the Academy for snubbing her. The most egregious snub ever. (They didn't even nominate her, MY GOD!!!)

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

I've never been able to get too worked up about 1997 Best Actress prize because as much as I agree that Carter, Christie, and Dench deserved the award above Hunt, I've always thought that Joan Allen deserved it more than any of them for "The Ice Storm."

I still can't even talk about 2005. But I truly believe that Joan should be a 2-time best actress winner.

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWill

lots of upside and ice storm fans here, where's the love for the contender? she was terrific in that.

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterry3

Nixon, without a doubt.

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan


September 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

I agree with everyone! Upside of Anger, obviously. She was so great in that- her performance felt so deep and real and lived in- I only wish all that stuff with the daughters in that film was a bit less Lifetime-y but gawd she was such a centre to that film.

And while it's not not Oscar-worthy, I love that she was the wife in Face/Off. Normally a role like that would be played by some 20-something blonde (who somehow manages to have teenage children) but it's Joan Allen! And the camera even gets leery with her!

September 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSVG

Love allen in contender, but who can really beat Bjork's Dancer in the Dark performance that year??

September 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

I want to plug Joan Allen in Sally Potter's YES. She is lovely, raw, and sensual.

September 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterfbh

She was great in Nixon and Pleasantville. A shame what she did to her face.

September 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRax

I love her, but I think her waning presence in film can be attributed to that deadly combo of being "past a certain age" and having succumbed to unnecessary plastic surgery. I don't think she looks horrible (she didn't go all Meg Ryan on us, thank God), but it was noticeable enough.

I haven't seen The Contender, Yes, or Nixon, but why she wasn't nominated for The Ice Storm is beyond me. Sigourney should have been nominated for that film, too. How Minnie Driver snuck in is beyond me. Still, the actress who was truly robbed in that category that year was Julianne in Boogie Nights.

September 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Joan allen was great in the all three bourne films!!! and i really hope she makes it to the 5th movie!!!!!

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbob
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