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Laura Linney - The Big C

It can’t be easy as a  working actress in Hollywood where, save a few notable exceptions, women are pigeonholed into convenient, one-dimensional archetypes – virgin, vixen, vessel, victim, villain – eventually condemned to onscreen marriages and partnerships with men two decades their senior and then flung into an oubliette when they themselves have the temerity to age.

Laura Linney is one among an increasing number of shrewd professionals who have built a carrier from subverting these supporting roles and using them as stepping stones to leading lady status. To coincide with the DVD release of the fourth and final season of The Big C we are showcasing six of her performances

Laura Linney - Mystic River

Annabeth Markum – Mystic River (2003)

Clint Eastwood’s film of Dennis Lehane’s Boston crime noir novel is a singular and powerful film which examines the ripple effect of child abduction in a blue collar neighbourhood, across three lives and twenty five years. With a powerhouse cast (including Sean Penn, Marcia Gay Harden, Kevin Bacon and Tim Robbins) and an atmospheric Boston backdrop, Linney’s long suffering wife role could easily have been lost in the mix.

Yet Annabeth – married to ex-con and local hard man Jimmy Markum – is mesmeric in her pain and fury at losing a child and appallingly dexterous in rationalising her husband’s brutal revenge. In the end it is left to her to piece the devastated family together while Jimmy, the king, can only shrug.

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