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Greatish Performances #30

#30 — Bill Paxton as Dale “Hurricane” Dixon in One False Move (Carl Franklin, 1992) Bill Paxton’s most iconic performances tend toward emotive intensity. To a degree, that’s simply a product of the films that crossed over into broader public

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Greatish Performances #29

#29 — Bill Murray as Frank Cross in Scrooged (Richard Donner, 1988) It is entirely reasonable to disagree about the pivot point that moved Bill Murray from an engaging presence to a shrewdly effective actor. Enjoyable as he is in

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Greatish Performances #28

#28 — Kevin Kline as Dave Kovic (and Bill Mitchell) in Dave (Ivan Reitman, 1993) I default to cynicism, enjoying the safety of a reflexive irony when it comes to the most important matters. Believing in institutions — or in

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Greatish Performances #27

#27 — Wilford Brimley as Pops Fisher in The Natural (Barry Levinson, 1984) When Barry Levinson directed The Natural, he was interested in the mythology of baseball. Aided by Caleb Deschanel’s lush cinematography and Randy Newman’s score which somehow infuses

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Greatish Performances #26

#26 — Michael Douglas as Grady Tripp in Wonder Boys (Curtis Hanson, 2000) When Michael Douglas was cast as Grady Tripp, I was mightily disappointed. Wonder Boys was a book I adored, and the news that it was being adapted

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Greatish Performances #25

#25 — Kate Beckinsale as Charlotte Pingress in The Last Days of Disco (Whit Stillman, 1998) I tend to think of The Last Days of Disco as the film that helped Whit Stillman loosen up, as if the propulsive beats of the

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Greatish Performances #24

#24 — Thora Birch as Enid in Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff, 2001) Expert portrayal of the precise brand of withering contempt found in the American teen-aged girl is, by definition, a talent of fleeting utility. While Thora Birch may have had a few

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