"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri": October Oscar predictions                "Get Out" leads the Gotham Award nominations                'Blade Runner 2049,' 'The Disaster Artist' to be Honored at Hollywood Film Awards                Hollywood Contenders – Looking at Best Original Screenplay hopefuls                Todd Haynes explores the world of children with "Wonderstruck"                MUDBOUND and COCO to be Honored at Hollywood Film Awards                "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" pairs Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman once again                "Wonder Wheel" closes NYFF with a commanding Kate Winslet turn                Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney to Receive Hollywood Supporting Actor and Hollywood Supporting Actress Awards at "Hollywood Film Awards"                Hollywood Contenders – Looking at Best Adapted Screenplay hopefuls                "Breathe" aims to return Andrew Garfield to Oscar contention                Mary J. Blige, Timothée Chalamet and the Cast of "I, Tonya" - Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, Sebastian Stan, Paul Walter Hauser to be honored at the 21st Annual "Hollywood Film Awards."                New Trailer drops for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"                "Goodbye Christopher Robin" reveals the origins of Winnie the Pooh                Hollywood Contenders – Looking at Best Supporting Actress hopefuls        

Zoe Kazan continues a strong run of performances with “The Big Sick”

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Zoe Kazan. For my money, she’s among the best actresses working in the business right now, and almost undoubtedly one of the most underrated. She is truly something special. This Friday, she displays that talent again in The Big Sick, one of 2017’s finest films so far. I plan on raving more about the flick in a couple of days, but at the moment, I want to make it more about Kazan, since she’s one of the strongest aspects of the movie. Without her, it just doesn’t work the way that it does. Here’s hoping that one day her efforts are justly rewarded. She certainly deserves it.

Again, I’ll have more to say about The Big Sick in a few days, but here again is a summation. This film is based on the real life relationship between Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani. We’re introduced to the latter as Kumail (Nanjiani playing himself) is toiling as a struggling stand up. When he’s heckled in the crowd by Emily (Zoe Kazan), an instant spark is there. Neither wants to commit to anything serious, but neither can deny the chemistry they share. At the same time, Kumail is dealing with an endless parade of Pakistani women that his mother Sharmeen (Zenobia Shroff) is inviting over for the dinner, in the hopes of an arranged marriage. That pressure eventually spills over and ends things for Emily and Kumail, but when the former winds up in the hospital, it’s Kumail who has to sign papers putting her in a medically induced coma. Emily’s parents Terry (Ray Romano) and Beth (Holly Hunter) then arrive, ready to send their daughter’s ex on his way. Something in him tells him to stay though, and as Emily fights for her life, Kumail gets to know Beth and Terry, seeing an influence on Emily that he never realized. I won’t say where it goes, but considering the real life people are pretty public about things, you should be able to guess. Michael Showalter directs a script that Gordon and Nanjiani co-wrote together. Also in the cast are Adeel Akhtar, Kurt Braunohler, Aidy Bryant, Bo Burnham, Anupam Kher, and more. Judd Apatow produces.

Kazan is brilliant in the film. Though missing from it for a solid section, her impact lingers. There’s a spark to her portrait of Gordon that remains throughout. It’s a credit to her that she’s on your mind as much as she is the other characters’ minds. This is an example of positively perfect casting. Kazan is terrific here, and even if there are a few other performances throughout her career that I’ve raved about even more loudly, this is still top tier work. If The Big Sick manages to become an Oscar player, fingers crossed that she gets a bit of a push in Best Supporting Actress.

As I’ve said before, remember that Kazan is not just an actress, but a writer as well. Her screenplay for Ruby Sparks is one of the sharpest feature debut scripts in recent memory. She’s also co-writing the adaptation of Wildlife, the directorial debut of Paul Dano. Frankly, it seems like only a matter of time until she makes her own feature film directorial debut. When that happens, I have no doubt it will be a top notch outing. For now, she’s a multi hyphenate on the rise. Her acting is unimpeachable, with her writing so far just as good. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Here are what I consider to be Kazan’s ten best performances to date:

1. The Pretty One
2. Ruby Sparks
3. The Exploding Girl
4. The Monster
5. What If
6. The Big Sick
7. Some Girl(s)
8. Happythankyoumoreplease
9. Meek’s Cutoff
10. In Your Eyes

Honorable Mentions: Me and Orson Welles, My Blind Brother, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, and Revolutionary Road

Be sure to stay tuned for more on Kazan and The Big Sick before the week is out!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

Follow us

Breaking Hollywood News   


Comments are closed.