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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

March 9, 2009 at 3:07 PM

So, who’s that guy?

You know the feeling: You’re sitting watching a movie, as I was at a press screening of “Sunshine Cleaning” today, and suddenly someone pops up on screen whom you know. Not know — you didn’t go to high school with them or anything — but know the face, the presence. He or she isn’t a movie star, but someone who’s made an impression, in every way but name.
Today, that guy was Clifton Collins Jr., who in “Sunshine Cleaning” plays the low-key supporting role of a janitorial-supplies store owner who sells things to Amy Adams and Emily Blunt, and sometimes babysits Adams’ character’s kid. (He’s missing an arm, just for indie-movie quirkiness.) All the way back to the office, I was thinking, OK, where do I know that guy from? Thanks to IMDB, I know now: He gave a terrific, haunted performance as murderer Perry Smith in “Capote,” one of my favorite movies of 2005. I tried to find a nice YouTube clip of his performance but there was nothing of good quality, so you’ll have to take my word for it: Rent this film.
Collins, who’s got a long resume for someone still in his 30s, also recently turned up in “Babel” and the TV series “Family Guy” and “The Shield.” And he’s got roles in, count ’em, ten movies due in theaters in 2009, including supporting roles in Jim Sheridan’s “Brothers” and J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” movie, coming in May.

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