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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

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

March 17, 2009 at 10:09 AM

The many faces of Tom Wilkinson

How do I love British actor Tom Wilkinson? Let me count the ways. I love him when he’s all blustery and King-Learish, as a desperately unhinged lawyer in “Michael Clayton.” I love him when he’s quietly silly, as the vicar Dr. Chasuble in “The Importance of Being Earnest.” I love him when he’ s subtle, as the helpless, despairing husband unable to save his wife from anguish in “In the Bedroom.” I love him when he conveys just a hint of menace, something just ever-so-slightly tawdry, as in his prosperous plastic surgeon in “Cassandra’s Dream.” And I loved him this week in “Duplicity,” in which he plays a bitterly competitive executive who spends much time pruning his bonsai. (That sounds like a double entendre, which would certainly fit in with the wordplay in this movie, but trust me, there’s actual bonsai involved.)
According to IMDB, we can look forward to five more Wilkinson movies in the pipeline, including Roman Polanski’s “The Ghost.” Meanwhile, here’s a peek at his Oscar-nominated performance in “Michael Clayton,” featuring his unforgettable delivery of “I have blood on my hands . . . I am Shiva, the god of death!”

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