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« A Year with Kate: The Man Upstairs (1992) | Main | Red Carpet Lineup: Gotham's Revenge of the Nineties »
Wednesday
Dec032014

Team FYC: Carrie Coon for Best Supporting Actress

Editor's Note: We're featuring individually chosen FYC's for various longshots in the Oscar race. We'll never repeat a film or a category so we hope you enjoy the variety of picks. And if you're lucky enough to be an AMPAS, HFPA, SAG, Critics Group voter, take note! Here's Margaret on Gone Girl. 

David Fincher's Gone Girl has been praised, and deservedly so, for excellence in casting its leads. Certainly Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck are immensely successful in their chilling game of spousal one-upmanship, both turning in career-best performances. But looking a little further down the call sheet, some of the best work is being done by arguably the least known in the cast. Carrie Coon, Chicago-based stage actress and recent Tony nominee (for playing Honey in the revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), made her film debut in Gone Girl, but blends in so seamlessly you'd never guess.

Carrie Coon plays Margo Dunne, twin sister of Ben Affleck's Nick. Frank, wry, and loyal to a fault, she quickly becomes the heart of the movie as the central couple reveal themselves to be less and less reliable. Margo functions effectively as an audience stand-in, but she's much more than that. Coon's lived-in, effortless rapport with Affleck creates a believable and affectionate sibling relationship that emphasizes the ambiguity, and keeps Nick from being too easy a villain. Her pointed observations and bluntness are a steady source of humor, welcome in Fincher's grim universe, and essential in keeping the movie from tipping too far into the unpleasant. Not even the source novel's pickiest devotees could find anything wanting in her performance. She's perfect. 

Carrie Coon's Margo Dunne has neither the narrative heft of near co-leads like Rene Russo in Nightcrawler or Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year, nor the scene-grabbing outre of Tilda Swinton in Snowpiercer, but her contributions to Gone Girl are no less potent. She makes everyone with whom she shares a scene better, and she makes the movie as a whole better; it's a true supporting performance.

Previously in Team FYC
Visual FX, Under the Skin
Cinematography, The Homesman

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Reader Comments (23)

All the ladies in Gone Girl were at the top of their game. The boys...not so much. I still think NPH was horrible.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

My favorite scene in the movie is when Margo has to ask Nick if he is a killer but can't. "I need you to tell me..how was your marriage Nick?" Carrie certainly deserves consideration.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commentertom

Loved this post and Carrie Coon's performance. Between her, Tyler Perry, Kim Dickens, Missi Pyle, Casey Wilson and more, Gone Girl should hopefully be up for a SAG ensemble (even if I agree that Neil Patrick Harris didn't quite rise to the occasion).
It's hard when it really is a two person movie, but all of these side characters do so much work shading the film and the world this couple exists in. In many cases they bring more to the character than was in the book.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris James

Coon's last scene is nothing short of shattering. I want this to happen so badly.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Margaret, a lovely tribute to a worthy Oscar nominee. She really drew me into her quirky character's interior life. I would have loved to see her on stage in Woolf, I'm sure she killed. And so cool she's from Chicago, represent!

Kim Dickens was also perfect and could get some buzz.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

It would be so cool and deserving if Carrie Coon could follow Helen Hunt's lead by winning an Emmy (Supporting Actress in a Drama for The Leftovers) and an Oscar (Supporting Actress for Gone Girl) in the same year.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJase

Fingers crossed for Carrie Coon. If she doesn't get an Oscar nod, can she at least get another role worthy of her?

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Marie

I thought Coons was fresh and sharp, although my favorite supporting actress in the movie was Kim Dickens, who added a grounding in reality and pushed the narrative along.

I'm fascinated by the bleed-through when when two actors play the same character, or "twins" or close siblings. We loan the attributes of one actor to the other. For example, Ryan Gosling in The Notebook isn't an obsessive stalker because he's really James Garner, true and solid and faithfully loving.

Carrie Coons as Nick's counterpart implies that he shares her characteristics in his natural state. She's smart, quick witted, and young. He only looks old and dozy because of the burden of being with Amy.

So, a great choice with a terrific debut from an actress I'd like to see more of. It didn't quite work for me, since he was obviously older than her for them to have been twins. She also wasn't my audience surrogate, since I feel quite strongly about the courtesy and politics of badmouthing one's in-laws (especially when they've given you a job).

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteradri

She's also one of the main reasons to watch The Leftovers, a confused show full of psycho-spiritual babble that comes alive whenever her story takes over.

Season 1 Episode 6, "Guest," revolves entirely around her, and it's the show at its most satirically sharp, and ultimately emotionally devastating. This is also the episode that features a small but memorable role for one of Nathaniel's favorites, Billy Magnussen.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

Absolutely not! The only Oscar role in this movie is Rosamund's. Every other role, although excellently played and well cast, not so much.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHehe

I saw her in Woolf when it was in Chicago and she was excellent. (She's also engaged to her Woolf co-star and "August: Osage County" Pulitzer winner Tracey Letts.) I thought she was great in Gone Girl and while I'm not sure she deserves a nomination I wouldn't be upset if it happened. It will be interesting to see where her career goes next.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

I saw Gone Girl and her big episode in The Leftovers in the same week. Nice discovery.
I think I prefer Kim Dickens, who was also very good in Treme. TV is introducing me to a lot of new talent lately. Even more than films. I might be wrong, but I got the impression that in movies we keep seeing the same faces over and over again.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I actually liked Coon less than everyone I've spoken to. I felt some of her frustration and broad comedy felt very mannered, and would rate it as one of the only less-than-steller performances in the film.

Kim Dickens, on the other hand, was effortlessly intelligent and humane. It's sad that she's even undervalued by "undervalued performances" standards.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W.

Peggy Sue: The opportunities in television are plentiful for new and non-famous veteran talent. Film is political. And openings are rarely given to performers who can't necessarily pass for teenagers.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Oh Hell Yeah! Her and Kim Dickens should be considered for Best Supporting Actresses.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

Yes. Yes. Yes.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianZ

I agree on Coon and Dickens, although I think I'd feel slightly more chuffed to see Dickens get a nom, she's done so much great work on film & tv, and while I'm sure Coon has done a lot of exceptional work also I've only seen her in GG. On the whole I was a bit bemused by the whole Gone Girl phenomenon. But more A-list side peen please?

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterchoog

Agreed, completely! The scene where she sees Nick's girlfriend leaving in the morning and confronts him about it right afterwards, made my jaw drop (as did many other scenes.)

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBhuray

Her anniversary gift description was everything.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

I thought Kim Dickens was the standout.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

Carrie Coon is my actress discovery of 2014 - her turn in Gone Girl sealed the deal following her exceptional (and totally different) work in The Leftovers. I would love to see her rewarded for either role this awards season and if it doesn't happen I'm confident she's a talent who'll be up for consideration again In the future...

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter7bis

I was floored to find out that this was her film debut. There was SO MUCH ACTRESSING in "Gone Girl" (my favorite little performance in it was Sela Ward's, but everyone was good -- Kim Dickens! Lisa Banes! the trailer trash woman from the third act!). What makes Carrie's performance so important is that the first scene with her and Nick in the bar is the make-or-break scene that sets up their dynamic, their banter, and lets us decide if we want to care about this man for the next two and a half hours. The last sentence of this post is spot-on.

December 4, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjakey

If I chose the Oscar nominees, Coon, Dickens and Tyler Perry would all be there. David Fincher gets all kinds of credit for his visual flair, but I mostly look forward to his films for the casts he assembles and the performances he gets out of them.

December 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

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