Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bravo, Laura Linney

For some time now we have been passing fans of Laura Linney, observing her career maneuverings from the margins, getting a sense of it all. Clearly, she was of another calibre. But was she, we asked ourselves, a Meryl Streep? For every Dustin Hoffman performance in Kramer Versus Kramer, there are always a thousand dozens of particularly assy Chris O'Donnell events (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). Though, granted, Linney's hair in The Exorcism of Emily Rose was obnoxiously aggressive (Averted Gaze), she has always exhibited a sort of prickly intensity that suggests, attractively, that she is incapable of descending into US Weekly magazine status. Laura Linney is, above all, a serious goddam person.

With her masterful performance as Abigail Adams, Laura Linney has proved that, yes, she is that all-too-rare creature: an American Artist. The series, which is perhaps argument that TV is getting better. Thank you, HBO, for shouldering the exuberant production costs, and thank you, Laura Linney, for a performance that shows us the outer limits of the possibilities of human talent.

We like, on this blog, to lampoon that which deserves lampooning, but it is all-too rare to bow from the waist to artistic excellence. Bravo, Laura Linney.

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