This year the awards season will have refreshing, promising narratives of Comics who can truly act.
Just like Roberto Benigni won an Oscar for romping through a concentration camp in Life Is Beautiful, Comedians left their sitcom and stand-up personas behind to create profound dramatic characters
Freaks and Geeks alone has given us Jason Segel , brilliant as the writer David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour, and Seth Rogen, as Steve Wozniak, holding his own opposite Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs.
Kristen Wiig, who has had some wobbly experiences with drama, is touching and fully in command as a conflicted 1970s mother in The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Sarah Silverman carries the indie I Smile Back as a drug-addicted suburban mom, and Louis C.K. moves smoothly into the 1940s and ’50s as Dalton Trumbo’s angry, more radical friend in Trumbo.
Some comic actors have become one-hit dramatic wonders in roles we wouldn’t want to have missed.
But careers more often are built on the ability to toggle back and forth. Hanks can drop into something lighthearted whenever he wants; he’s still the voice of Woody in every Toy Story that comes along.
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