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Friday, November 5, 2010

The Real Zelig

Today is probably turning out to be a happy 42nd birthday for one of our favorite actors, Sam Rockwell; he's generating Oscar buzz for his role in the new movie "Conviction".

It's about time this guy had a movie which really put him on the map. To say that he's had a quirky acting career is a major understatement... maybe because, well, let's face it, Sam Rockwell is quirky. You never know what bizarre character he's going to play next; when he has a new movie, you just have to hold your breath and hold on. He's played a crazed killer, a sex-addicted con man who makes money by letting people rescue him from choking and an astronaut who encounters himself while on the moon. Rockwell has been in some major hit movies, i.e. "The Green Mile", "Frost/Nixon", and his acting skills are solid, so many would wonder why the guy doesn't play more mainstream roles and finally achieve the mainstream star status that seems easily within his reach. But we think that what makes the guy so interesting, (and interesting to top directors), is that he goes out of his way to stay in the shadows of stardom, and is willing to play the most bizarre of characters. But Hollywood has a funny way of taking over some actors' lives, and sometimes stardom comes, whether an actor wants it or not. And we're guessing that bigger stardom is about to be foisted on Sam Rockwell, whether he likes it or not. His last movie, "Moon", won him a slew of acting award nominations, and his newest movie, "Conviction", in which he co-stars with Hilary Swank and Minnie Driver, might just bring him his first Oscar nomination. But whatever happens, we hope that Rockwell will continue to seek out the stranger roles, whatever you think of him, you have to admit, he's incredibly interesting, he always keeps you guessing, and he's just the type of actor that's needed to keep Hollywood from boring itself, and us, to death.
Our favorite Sam Rockwell movie was 2002's
"Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" in which he played Chuck Barris, the game show producer and self-confessed CIA spy. Rockwell was at the peak of his powers in that role; he could be completely normal one minute, and then the next minute have you wondering whether or not he'd completely flipped his noggin. He really should have gotten an Oscar nod for that role, but it's okay, we're predicting that his fireplace mantle won't be devoid of a naked golden man much longer.

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