There is something both very sharp yet very vulnerable about Catherine Keener. This isn’t the whimpering subservient kind of vulnerability one might expect, but a vulnerability born from an earnest awkwardness about herself. Not that Catherine isn’t confident or competent. Quite the contrary. Still she seems wholly uninterested in the superficial machinations of Hollywood. (Catch her in a rare interview here and here.) Sadly, for too long Hollywood seemed wholly uninterested in her completely unsuperficial talents.
Her early career included appearances in roles like “Cocktail Waitress,” “Trucker’s Girl” and “Steve’s Secretary.” Then, she stumbled into indie film, a niche where she blossomed in small endearing pictures like “Living in Oblivion,” “Walking and Talking” and “Box of Moonlight,” And then, then came “Being John Malkovich.” It was the smack on the forehead we’d all been waiting for. Here was this smart, sexy woman capable of both scorching sting and sly sweetness. Simply sensational. I consider her one of the most consistently brilliant working actresses to have never won an Oscar. But, give her time. And, if all else fails, I’d be willing to smack a few Academy voters on the forehead on her behalf. Happy weekend, all.