Actor of the Week: Jessie Buckley


THE ACTOR | Jessie Buckley

THE SHOW | Fargo

THE CONSEQUENCE | “The Nadir” (November 8, 2020)

THE PERFORMANCE | Sister Oraetta Mayflower, with her incredible accent and adorable Minnesota isms, seems at first glance to come from the same kind-hearted Midwestern stock as Fargo’s original Marge Gunderson. But behind that friendly smile hides a cold-blooded killer, and Buckley – already season four MVP – reached new heights this week when Oraetta found out about her twisted childhood … and began to see her master plan fall apart.

At first, Oraetta enjoyed some private time with Josto, suffocated him with a “Bless This Mess” pillow and then told him how sick she was as a child. (“Not thriving,” they called it.) But she also checked in her final victim with Buckley putting a false WASP accent, and when she found out he was recovering she took her anger at Josto and flew into a rage and screaming profanity upon him. (Not very Minnesota Nice.) Later, Oraetta went to her victim and the blood trickled from Buckley’s face when Oraetta discovered that authorities were investigating it as attempted murder. Her eyes darted helplessly, and then she stepped into action, clutching desperately to skip town – and when she found Ethelrida was the one who’d been the one who’d been twitching, Buckley’s violent, twitching reaction underscored her murderous intentions.

Oraetta is more suited to unscrupulous Fargo villains like Lorne Malvo from season 1 and VM Varga from season 3, who are just wrapped in a disarmingly cute package. And Buckley’s intriguingly bizarre portrayal helped make her one of Fargo’s most memorable characters. To be clear, we don’t want Oraetta to get away with murder … but thanks to Buckley, we can’t stop watching her either.

AWARD | The restoration of rom-com mainstay Hugh Grant cemented his robust second act as a dramatic actor in The Undoing on Sunday, in which he found the villain of an alter ego that the woman (Nicole Kidman) he betrayed faced in prison . Grant portrayed Jonathan impressively both as a perpetrator and victim and as a man who is still deeply in love with his wife. “Whatever my mistakes, my transgressions, my love for you … [remains]”He called out to Grace, Grant’s crackling voice full of fear and regret. When he was later visited by his young son Henry, the tough, sociable-looking outer shell that Grant had built around Jonathan was (” Well, another nice mess that I took you in, “he quipped), instantly broken when his boy asked him directly Dad if he was a murderer. Then he informed his dad that they will” never again “be a family.” Well “I desperately hope it will be us,” said Jonathan painfully. Grant showed impressive reluctance through tears, before putting on his hard father armor again and quietly reassuring Henry: “It’s all right.”

AWARD | The season premiere of SWAT, held in late April, expressed the idea that racial relations would improve, since Los Angeles had passed a little longer with no unrest than the 27 years between Watts and Rodney King. But after it was filmed after the George Floyd protests, it knew full well that this “record” was about to end. Daniel Sr., who was played with great response by Obba Babatundé, insisted that another shoe always had to be dropped, and told Hondo’s Darryl community: “It still goes on, the same problems. It’s a system that has never been fixed. “Pop turned to Hondo himself and called the riots” a generational wound that keeps getting picked up … because we refuse to learn the lesson. ” And when Hondo suggested that this time could be different? Pop didn’t have it. “I saw Watts burn while the police killed. You saw it in ’92, ”he yelled. “What is? [Darryl] We’ll see? ”Hard questions everywhere, powerfully asked by Babatundé.

AWARD | While Netflix’s Dash & Lily is exactly billed as a vacation romance, it’s also a story about two people who find themselves by breaking out of their comfort zones. And of all the standout moments from the series’ first season, none shows that growth – and you don’t feel uncomfortable either – like Lily’s powerful slam poetry performance in Episode 5. The conviction with which Midori Francis channels her character’s grief, makes her confronted with her middle school bullying all the more devastating and tragically relatable. It’s also impossible not to ride Lily’s wave of trust as she shifts her anger to society’s rejection of gendered playground antics. (“I’m sick of guys pulling our braids and being called cute!”) The fact that Francis’ killer monologue follows their equally delightful attack on a snowman is just the bow on that early Christmas present.

Which performance (s) blew your socks off this week? Tell us in the comments!

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