The great actor Jennifer Jason Leigh is 53 years old today. How great is she? Is she even great? I don’t know. I’ve had a crush on her for decades. But there are three films that she stars in that I think are really good: The Hudsucker Proxy, Dolores Claiborne, and eXistenZ.
It isn’t surprising that she really came to my attention in The Hudsucker Proxy. In it, she does her own — over the top — version of Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday — one of my all time favorite films that I still watch regularly. Tim Robbins actually kind of annoys me in The Hudsucker Proxy, but Leigh more than makes up for that. But it remains a lesser Coen Brothers outing. Here’s the “I’ll stake my Pulitzer on it!” scene:
Dolores Claiborne is a really fine film, although deeply disturbing even as it also contains great humanity. Leigh again plays a journalist, but this time a deeply screwed up one. It’s an interesting film in that her character is actually what the story is about. Check it out if you get a chance. Here is a representative scene:
eXistenZ is a great film. And almost no one has seen it. I’ve been an evangelist for the film. But I get very few takers. I’ve given it out many times. I’ve purchased it at least five times. What do I have to do? It should at least be a cult classic, but it has managed to avoid even that. (Note: the following scene only has about 4,000 views, even though it was released over three years ago by a huge YouTube channel.) Regardless, Leigh is great in it:
Happy birthday Jennifer Jason Leigh!