Time for some more fanboy squee about Sheila O’Malley. I love how, whatever topic O’Malley is superficially discussing, she will inevitably depict it in the light of the same central values and passions. We know what O’Malley loves — in people, in film, in life. And those values bleed through into everything she writes.

Take this article Melissa Leo, published just after she won a Best Supporting Actress oscar. Leo clearly ticks a couple of O’Malley’s boxes. One, professional masochism, or at least willingness to push work to the point of discomfort:

Leo seems to thrive on the challenge of discomfort, especially if it helps to immerse her in the world of the character. From the first closeup of Leo in Frozen River, huddled in her battered truck, smoking, teeth stained yellow, her face worn with desperation, we know that we are in the presence of something genuine

And secondly, the love of emotional intensity and a certain degree of chaos:

As Patricia Neal and Gena Rowlands had done before her, Leo has the capacity to crack open a character’s inner life like very few actresses working today. She is in this job for the mess, for the unresolved issues of her characters, and this has led her through an unconventional and unglamorous path.

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