Friday, 26 January 2018
Elizabeth McGovern. Another unsung hero of film and TV.
Imagine your first film turned out to be not only one of the biggest hits of the year but also beat the likes of Raging Bull to Oscar glory. That's how Elizabeth McGovern started her career. Not a bad way to do things. 38 years later she's still turning up on cinema screens (The Commuter, out now) but mention her name and you'll no doubt get blank looks. She's one of those stalwart actors who does stellar work continuously but never really got her name on the marquee. These days she's best known for her part as the colourful Lady Cora Crowley from Downton Abbey.
She's been a horribly treated object of obsession in a Sergio Leone masterpiece. Done Shakespeare on stage. Been the mother of Kick-Ass. Presided over Helen Mirren's court case. Been Oscar nominated for her portrayal of upper crust New York society. Starred in the first film made for IMAX cinema. Been married to Liam Neeson, Craig Sheffer, Kevin Bacon and Mickey Rourke. Dealt with both the Scarlet Pimpernel and nastiness in Tales From The Crypt. Raised a great mythological Greek hero as her own son and been a Handmaiden in a very dystopian future. She's done it all. All this and she's also the singer in here own band. Check out her career here.
Ragtime. A forgotten piece of brilliance. In a massive cast that included James Cagney in his last appearance her role as Evelyn is the one that stands out and got her an Oscar nomination.
Once Upon A Time In America. Poor Deborah. The object of Noodle's obsession and desire. And yet another woman destroyed by him. A small but striking role in a sprawling masterpiece.
The Handmaiden's Tale. Not the brilliant TV show but the film from 1990. Here she plays the rebellious Moira, best friend of Offred. A highlight in a very dark film.
Downton Abbey. Plays Lady Grantham. A yank in a show full of stuffy English toffs. Forward thinking. Modern. And therefore of course looked upon with disdain.
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