Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Forgotten Characters 5.5

Previously Forgotten: Christopher Walken in Annie Hall / Stephen Dillane in The Hours / Christina Baranskin in Chicago / Ray Winstone in The Departed

Sometimes a character is forgotten because there is no alternative. When a film has a small ensemble that’s closely knit and you’re a character existing on the outlier you have no option but to fade into the background. So, I’m scouring the shadows to find a performance and character I’d like to remember right now

Zosia Mamet in The Kids Are All Right
as Sasha

Zosia Mamet came up in a conversation I was having with Paolo (Paraphrased Kulchar) the other day. We were talking of Mamet by way of Girls, and I mentioned how excellent she was doing “guestage” work on Mad Men and Parenthood. I was so focused on her television work I forgot her recent work in Cholodenko’s film. Mamet is, I would submit, one of the most interesting performers below twenty five and I’ve seen her somewhat often but I’m still unable to pin down her sensibilities to something specific.

Of course, that stems from – especially with The Kids Are All Right – the specificity with which the characters she play are written. Cholodenko’s script gets unfairly reduced to merely family drama and/or lesbian film but she has such a keen eye for the youths, too. Sasha is such an ostensibly airless high-school youth. There are two scenes I remember immediately about the performance and the script itself, both of them dealing with the “sperm” himself – Mark Ruffalo. As Joni finds herself growing over the course of the film (and away from Sasha) look at her reactions to Sasha’s random silliness.

“Is he hot?” she asks as something throwaway early on and then later at Paul’s a frustrated Joni responds, “Not everybody wants to have sex with you, okay? Especially when you act like such a slut.” I love Mamet’s look across at her before she replies with a pejorative.

At the moment my quasi-enjoymenet of Girls is buoyed most my love for the work Mamet is turning. She’s one to watch, I think. Do you remember her here?


Robert said...

I do remember her in this movie, though I think I will always associate her with that small role she had on "United States of Tara". Somehow she's stuck with me! I haven't seen Girls but it should be interesting to see where she ends up!

Chip Lary said...

I didn't remember the character until you included the dialogue.

I would submit that it's Mark Ruffalo's character who gets forgotten by the filmmakers. He just disappears from the movie.

Colin Biggs said...

I completely forgot she was in this. So glad she got a larger role on Girls.