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The Joan Allen Bio

The Joan Allen Review – MovieActors.com

by Nate Lee

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Best Film:

Pleasantville

A most intriguing allegorical film about conformity, art, etc. and Joan Allen is one of the core players whose transformation moves the film. She is so perfect as both the sitcom mom of the '50s and the "liberated" woman determined to meet her potential. The character also reflects the real Joan in that she grew up in a conservative, small town in Illinois and was liberated by the theatre, where, being shy, she felt she could express herself – particularly with the Steppenwolf Theatre.


Great Performances You May Not Have Seen:
Nixon (Pat Nixon, in an Oscar-nominated role)
The Crucible (Oscar-nominated performance as wife of Daniel Day-Lewis)
The Upside of Anger (scrapping with Kevin Costner)
The Contender (potential VP, sticking to her guns, scrapping with Gary Oldman)
Peggy Sue Got Married (high-school friend of Kathleen Turner)
Off the Map (dropping out of society with Sam Elliott)
The Ice Storm (wife of Kevin Kline)
Blockbusters:
Bourne Ultimatum
Bourne Supremacy
Face/Off
Quiet Supportive Joan:
Nixon
Tucker: The Man and His Dream
Searching for Bobby Fischer
Face/Off
Tough, Determined Joan:
The Notebook
The Contender
The Bourne Supremacy
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Upside of Anger
The Crucible
Though the Sky Falls
Acting Style:
A longtime member of Chicago's renowned Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Allen joins fellow Wolfies Gary Sinise, Laurie Metcalfe, John Mahoney, Glenne Headly and John Malkovich as a superior and intriguing actor.

Just as she uncannily channeled the First Lady Pat in the film "Nixon," Joan Allen can completely disappear in a role. Though she started off with more than her share of wife and mom roles, her classic looks and ability have moved her into self-actualized women such as the CIA tough chief in two of the "Bourne" series.
Bits and Quirks:
Allen uses an already mesmerizing voice and adds tricks of intonations. Even when she is screaming, there is a soft tenderness about her voice. She also uses the "under your breath" trick, sometimes with a killer glare. Though her stare is usually a long-suffering sad stare.
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Great Scenes:
Pleasantville

> Trying to explain to William H. Macy how things have changed
> Heart to heart with Tobey Maguire

Bourne

> In both movies, where Joan is talking to Matt Damon on the phone and he is watching her.
> Arguing with Brian Cox about Threadstone
> Opening scene of her operation going bad<

The Contender

> Explaining her position to Jeff Bridges as President

Nixon

> Explaining her position to her husband, Dick Nixon, running for President
Go to the... Joan Allen Bio