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Friday
Nov 08 2013

Why is Rachel Griffiths So Stern?

Glennhere again.Last night I saw the new Australian horror flick,Patrick(a remake of the 1978 classic),and relished in seeing Rachel Griffiths again on the big screen.She was,however,very stern as nurse matron who's hiding secrets about the coma patient in room 15.

She will soon be on screens all over the world,albeit briefly,as the inspiration for "Mary Poppins".Again,very stern.

And now I read that the one and only Brenda Chenowith will bestarring in an Australian TV movieabout embattled former Prime Minister,and first female leader,Julia Gillard.The casting is actually incredibly smart since they both have very tightly pointed facial features.Still,given everything Gillard went through in her tenure you can be guaranteed that she'll be,you guessed it,stern.And knitting.Stern and knitting (Australian readers will understand that).

Griffiths has always excelled at prickliness both on and off the screen?Remember when she protested a casino opening by wearingnothing but body paint and a crown of thorns?It sure would be nice to see her work in something that's equal to her talents and that people will actually watch once more.AnotherSix Feet Under?AnotherHilary & Jackiefor which she was Oscar-nominated. Gosh,anotherMuriel's Wedding?We were just discussing another Aussie actress,Naomi Watts,and just like her,Griffiths is too talented to be hidden away in duds (thatCampseries on NBC didn't really go anywhere,did it?),in movies that almost nobody sees,or in tiny cameos likeSaving Mr Banks.What say you,dear readers?

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Reader Comments (16)

Rachel Griffiths and Judy Davis both need a Ryan Murphy relevancy resurgence.

November 8,2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

I actually just watched "Beautiful Kate"over the weekend -- she won Best Supporting Actress for it at the 2009 Australian Oscars (a pretty small role but she was very good in it).亚博主页

I love Rachel Griffiths eternally for "Six Feet Under."My favorite scene of hers in the series: Imitating a cancer patient planning her own funeral.God that show was great.

November 8,2013 | Unregistered CommenterParanoid Android

I haven't seen much of what she's done,but I always thought she was great in "The Rookie".

November 8,2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Hate to admit it has become the go-to (only?) place for actresses of their caliber,but I agree with 3rtful that both of those ladies need to make a stop at the Ryan Murphy altar.

November 8,2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Paranoid Android,that's the thing...she does great work in these tiny projects nobody sees or even seems to discuss much,which is a crying shame.She was indeed very good in BEAUTIFUL KATE.Stern,too.

Can we throw Griffiths' MURIEL co-star Toni Collette in on that deal with Griffiths and Davis?Surely Ryan Murphy's next "horror story"can be about two Australian women and their mother attempting to,oh I dunno,disenfranchise the male order or something.

November 8,2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

She was at the Saving Mr Banks premiere last night.Looking hot.I share the feeling that she is grossly underused.Especially post Six Feet Under which was a miracle performance for years on end.

November 8,2013 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

How popular is she in Australia?Who would her equivalent here be?

November 8,2013 | Unregistered CommenterParanoid Android

I know Brothers & Sisters was a mess,but I always liked her there once Six Feet Under's amazing Brenda was wrapped up.I think she needs continuing storylines.She'd make a fantastic villain.She has an otherworldly quality about her,so she needs to avoid "normal woman"roles.I don't love her in character actress roles because she's so striking,it throws off the everywoman vibe.

November 8,2013 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

This seems to happen to a lot of great actresses who seem to go unnoticed for a while.Lisa Kudrow,although popular from Friends,turned in wonderful (yet rather under seen) textured performances in The Opposite of Sex and The Comeback but a lot of her work recently seems to be very one note and stern as well.What's happening here?Is the source material failing them or are they just failing?

November 8,2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohn

Brothers & Sisters wasn't a mess i don't think.But yeah,after SFU,your career can hardly go that much more up.

NATHANIEL,do you think Griffiths was stern in Banks?

November 8,2013 | Unregistered Commentertesh

Tesh -- not exactly.outwardly the character has that element but you can see the warmth underneath so in that way she totally captured Mary Poppins uptightness with gooey center.

November 8,2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Ugh,love her.Forever a fan from SFU and Muriel's Wedding alone.I was thrilled to see her pop up in the Saving Mr Banks trailer since it's such a high profile project and she never disappoints with great material but nonetheless,give her moooore!

November 8,2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

I loved Muriel's Wedding but what totally won me to RG's altar was Hilary and Jackie.I didn't even realize it was the same actress until half way through the film.And 6FU was brilliant.My favorite ep was when they buried Nate in the woods and she just threw the shovel at the grave.

November 9,2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Tesh,I'd say after a couple (maybe three?) seasons it started to turn into a mess.Very strong initially,though.

Paranoid Android,I'm not sure of a comparison,but she's quite popular in the sense that we love it when "our"actors make good overseas (her Golden Globe win was big news) and yet still make time to come back home and make stuff here.Her casting as Julia Gillard feels like a casting coup of sorts for the network.

November 9,2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

3rtful- There really needs to be a list (**nudge** like on THIS website) of actresses that should be phased into the show.Sarandon and Barkin are at the top of my list but those choices (along with Toni Collette,because I am not betting on Hostages lasting beyond this season) are good choices.

November 10,2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

You certainly are an insightful writer on all things cinema Nataniel This is indeed one of the more intellectually stimulating and thought provoking dissertations I have read in the last twenty or so years.
Keep up the good work,a career at Sight And Sound can only be just around the corner

November 10,2013 | Unregistered CommenterTerry Phelps

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