The Film Experience is proud to welcome back Matthew Eng for this personal FYC
These days, to simply see Sarah Paulson’s name in the opening credits of any project is enough to make me sit back, relax, and sigh with deep and reverent relief that — no matter the lapses in storytelling, the dubiousness of politics, or the haphazard efforts of other actors — I am in the hands of at least one supremely assured and eternally convincing performer.
As someone who missed Aaron Sorkin’s infamous Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and the extensive list of sitcoms and serials she appeared in from the mid-nineties to the late-2000s (not to mention her numerous stage roles and occasional film appearances), my Sarah Paulson fandom is fairly recent. Of course, like many, I’d seen and admired her wry gal pal in Down with Love, which remains a fun but frankly flaky memory.
But truthfully, I wasn’t fully onboard the Paulson bandwagon until 2012, when she offered American Horror Story’s peak Asylum season a truly new and refreshingly tough-minded depiction of devastated-turn-mobilized female victimhood and then, a year later, sauntered into Steven McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave as one of contemporary cinema’s most memorably unrepentant villainesses, terrorizing Lupita and manipulating Fassy with ferocious, bone-chilling conviction.
When I heard Paulson had joined Carol, I took another of those deep and reverent sighs of relief, as if to say, 'Alright, this film will actually be as perfect as I need it to be.' [More...]