Holly Hunter's awesomest
August 3, 2017 8:19 PM   Subscribe

The Big Sick reminded me how great Holly Hunter is. Please tell me your personal favorite performances from her, so I can have a well-curated binge.

While obsessing about her after the film, I learned she and Frances McDormand were roommates - I guess that explains the Cohen brothers connection! So I am also into learning weird peripheral trivia about Holly Hunter and Holly Hunter adjacent films I should watch to round out my understanding of her awesomeness.

(This post brought to you by avoiding the news for the last week.)
posted by latkes to Media & Arts (32 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Well, maybe too obvious but definitely Broadcast News.
posted by Mchelly at 8:20 PM on August 3, 2017 [8 favorites]

Raising Arizona, of course.
posted by lakeroon at 8:20 PM on August 3, 2017 [18 favorites]

It's not to everyone's tastes but I really liked her in Crash and enjoyed the whole weird movie.
posted by jessamyn at 8:24 PM on August 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

I kind of love her in Home for the Holidays, which apparently no one has ever seen besides me. It is a little sentimental but is gently, darkly funny and really hits a sweet spot if you are a youngish adult who has ever been insane by a family you are trying so hard to not be driven insane by.
posted by charmedimsure at 8:25 PM on August 3, 2017 [17 favorites]

Saving Grace! She is soooo Grace-reminding in The Big Sick at times. Especially the heckler scene.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:30 PM on August 3, 2017 [7 favorites]

The Piano!!!! for which she did win Best Actress

And to balance the good, I'll throw out the movie Always. It's. . . an awful movie. But it's got John Goodman in a really fun role - I quote one of his lines all the time, Audrey Hepburn, and Richard Dreyfus, as well - and Hunter's character is really kind of fun too. If you go into the movie to just have fun, it'll be okay. And I noticed it on either Netflix or HBO the other day to boot.
posted by barchan at 8:33 PM on August 3, 2017 [6 favorites]

Copycat was fun... Sigorney Weaver and Harry Connick Jr. really are awesome, but I think that we really get a solid performance by Holly Hunter.
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:49 PM on August 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

I will add 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' because, really, we should all watch 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' as often as we can.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:55 PM on August 3, 2017 [12 favorites]

She played a pretty interesting character in Top of the Lake.
posted by Rykey at 9:14 PM on August 3, 2017 [5 favorites]

Definitely not a consensus pick, but I really loved Miss Firecracker as an '80s style quirky comedy. I never got how it wasn't universally loved, or at least a well regarded cult classic. (Admittedly I haven't seen it in ages.)

Hunter herself insisted on reprising her role from the theater even though it was regarded as a step down the prestige ladder (coming off of Broadcast News).
posted by mark k at 9:14 PM on August 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm gonna hafta add The Incredibles.
posted by scorpia22 at 9:14 PM on August 3, 2017 [8 favorites]

Home for the Holidays is definitely my favorite, so there's at least 2 of us.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:20 PM on August 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

She was so very great in Saving Grace. It's probably not a show to everybody's liking, but if you go for it, you will go hard.
posted by old_growler at 9:59 PM on August 3, 2017 [5 favorites]

Thirding Saving Grace. She, and Laura San Giacomo, and their relationship, are by far the best things in that show. (Although I love the theme song, and Earl.) Grace is broken and brilliant and sharp and funny and utterly fucked up. It's a marvelous performance.
posted by suelac at 10:01 PM on August 3, 2017 [7 favorites]

Second all of the above, but especially Home For The Holidays because it has the added bonus of sublime performances by Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft, and Charles Durning. AND it was directed by Jodie Foster, who perfectly captured the dynamic of being somewhere that you really hate and really love at the same time. I watch that movie at least once every holiday season.

Another of Holly Hunter's underrated gems is Miss Firecracker. Mary Steenburgen, Tim Robbins, and Alfre Woodard gave excellent supporting performances. It's one of those surprisingly awesome little indie films that I stumbled upon when it came out and years later still think about for no particular reason.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 10:02 PM on August 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

Well I would be amiss if I didn't recommend "A Life Less Ordinary," which is somewhat cheesy and disjointed but also whimsical and stars a young Ewan McGregor.
posted by shalom at 10:30 PM on August 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, a TV movie.
Living Out Loud is weird, and weirdly affecting.
Hunter voices Helen/Elastigirl in The Incredibles.

Honestly, she's never turned in a bad performance, and makes everyone around her look good. (I walked out of "The Big Sick" appreciating Ray Romano.)

Weird trivia? Um... roommates with McDormand, as mentioned above, at least three times: first randomly assigned in college, then again in NY as struggling actors, and again in LA, where they shared a house with the Coen Brothers and Sam Raimi. Also, she does her own piano playing in The Piano.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:21 PM on August 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Always (1989) - Love the grocery list sleep scene
posted by 1smartcookie at 11:22 PM on August 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Broadcast News is perfect. Not just because of her, but... Albert effing BROOKS. Best ending ever. SO. GOOD.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 2:32 AM on August 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

+1 for Always. Also I always loved her in The Firm.
posted by Jungo at 5:34 AM on August 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Raising Arizona - so many great lines !
posted by maxg94 at 6:47 AM on August 4, 2017

I enjoyed her in Thirteen.
posted by archimago at 8:01 AM on August 4, 2017

Seconding Thirteen. She was amazing, and nominated for best supporting actress for the performance.
posted by donnagirl at 8:25 AM on August 4, 2017

Broadcast News is THE BEST and she is THE BEST in it. It is just a perfect, perfect movie.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 9:27 AM on August 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Always. Enhanced by Richard Dreyfuss and John Goodman (and I like the flying)
posted by achrise at 10:49 AM on August 4, 2017

Seconding A Life Less Ordinary and nthing Saving Grace!
I also loved her in the Big Sick. She's fantastic
posted by natasha_k at 3:09 PM on August 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Incredibles
posted by kyrademon at 4:02 PM on August 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

I just remembered! Holly Hunter was also excellent in Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her. The entire ensemble performance of all of the actresses was fascinating to me because most, including Holly, played characters quite different from what they were known for at the time. Holly, who was usually cast as "feisty", "unconventional", and strong-willed did a magnificent job as Rebecca. I found the movie incredibly beautiful in a quiet way, and slightly melancholy. It was deftly directed by Rodrigo Garcia, son of Gabriel García Márquez. You can watch it on "you" + "tube" if you search for the title, but the better quality dvd version is worth seeking out, if you can find it.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 11:05 PM on August 4, 2017

Home for the Holidays is my favorite.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 6:46 AM on August 5, 2017

+1 for Top of the Lake -- she plays this feminist guru to a band of women trying to escape their former lives. Fascinating character.
posted by Bron at 10:40 AM on August 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 7:16 AM on August 6, 2017

Living Out Loud is my favorite Holly Hunter flick.
posted by duckus at 1:19 PM on August 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

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