best films: #60: YOU CAN COUNT ON ME (2000)

Yes, I’ve harped on and on about You Can Count on Me on this blog (for some retrospective love, check out my year 2000 rehash), but there’s no denying its brilliance. And to top it off, it seems it was not appreciated in its time, making it all the more frustrating and perfect at the same time. But thanks to Julia Roberts‘ career-best performance in Erin Brockovich and Gladiator, it got almost completely overshadowed, awards-wise. Where to start? The amazing performances from Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo are probably a good place. Add to that an amazing script from Kenneth Lonergan (why does this man not work more often?) and a great, simplistic backdrop (small town in the Catskills), and you’ve got a quintessential family drama. So even though Roberts delivered an arguably great performance, I can’t really see how she managed to outshine Linney in easily her career-best. Plus the flick gifted us with the breakthrough performance of underrated actor Ruffalo. Well done all around.

Standout Performance: Linney’s got this one in the bag here as Sammy Prescott, the single mom and bank clerk whose small-town boredom leads to inter-office romance and household drama. Definitely one of the best performances of the decade.
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