Oscar History

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« First Round Critics Orgs: NYFCO & AFCC| Main| European Film Awards honor Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche, and The Favourite »
Dec 07 2019

Dame Maggie Smith Unchallenged by the Abbey

byMurtada Elfadl

Did you ever feel that sometimes Dame Maggie Smith has been phoning it in as the Dowager Countess inDowntown Abbey?Did you think that despite being droll and funny she might have been playing obvious notes that we’ve seen from her before.Well you are not alone.The Dame herself agress as she told ES Magazine...

I am deeply grateful for the work in Potter and indeed Downton, but it wasn’t what you’d call satisfying.I didn’t really feel I was acting in those things.

Perhaps that is why she returned to the London stage this year.She played Joseph Goebbels’ secretary in the Christopher Hampton one-woman play A German Life.The awards magnet that she is, she recently won best actress at Evening Standard theatre awards.In the same interview she acknowledged that it was hard to go back to the stage after many years absence.

I suddenly felt twice as old as I actually was.And also, when you haven’t done a show for a long time, there’s something pretty dumb about doing it totally on your own.

It’s delightful to see her challenging herself at this stage of her career and hope to see more of that on screen.Where do you think are her chances to score any awards love this season lie?Perhaps SAG?

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Reader Comments (16)

She needs to challenge herself.Work with Lars von Trier.Every performance of hers is the exact fucking same.Enough!

December 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Umm she’s in her 80s she doesn’t have to prove shit.

December 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbeyaccount

While I definitely agree with @beyaccount that she has nothing to prove, it sounds like she wants to be challenged, so good on her for not being content to rest on her laurels.

December 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

She’s been giving the exact same performance since 2001 in Gosford Park.Maybe try a different character or approach the apparently similar character in a different manner.

December 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterOwen

She is playing the same role she played in "Gosford Park" a better whodunit that the over praised "Knifes Out"

December 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

How many roles has Von Trier or any other auteur written for women in their 80s?She does the best with what she gets and went on stage for a challenge.

December 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

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December 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLatifah

We could tell Maggie.Awards magnet that she is SAG is probably likely.I mean both her Oscar wins whilst great performances are somehow over praised and talked about as if no other nominee that year was remotely on her level.

December 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Unlike my impersonator, I think she would be a very worthy nominee.

December 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I read what she said to my boyfriend and he commented 'so she is really a witch?'

December 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPP

Her performance in My Old Lady veers away from these other patrician roles and she does quite well.

December 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I can see why people think she plays the same part over and over - but because she does it so well, she is probably only offered those parts.Clearly she would love to play all types of roles.But given her opportunities, I'd say she has done well to diversify the roles (and approach to roles) - Lady in the Van, The Best Exotic Mairgold Hotel, Quartet, My Old Lady, My House in Umbria, Ladies in Lavender ..And yes, her characters in Downton & Gosford are of a similar vein, but she finds ways to make them distinctly different.

And yes, she doesn't have to prove a thing at this point!!I love her.

December 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEllsworth

I thought she was wonderful in The Lady in the Van.

December 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

When you're Maggie Smith, or truly any acclaimed British actor, doing something like Downton is the equivalent of older American actors doing Marvel films.They're not stretching, but they take home a nice paycheck and they get all of the fun moments that keeps things moving.

December 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I wish the Potter films didn't cut out so many of quality McGonagall moments, but I know they shouldn't make each movie 3 and a half hour long.It has been a decade.Why can't we get an HBO series of the books, with every scene (and more!) depicted?McGonagall is definitely an Emmy worthy role.

December 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterkin

She has Potter money and is one of the living great actresses.她可以拓展,我找到有挑战性的材料f she wanted.

December 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDuh

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