Monday, August 1, 2016

The U.T.C.: Isla Fisher

Back in 2005, we saw the release of a film called Wedding Crashers which was a box office hit that certified Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as comedic stars and even helped thrust Rachel McAdams into the spotlight. But for me, the real shining star was Isla Fisher who made her big breakthrough as Gloria, the nymphomaniac bridesmaid who falls a little too in love with Vince Vaughn's character Jeremy.

As Gloria, Fisher shows an uncanny ability to turn on a dime as she can be hypersexualized one minute and then go completely berserk the next. She can give an animalistic, primal look and then get into a girlish glee. Even if the film doesn't make me laugh a minute whenever I watch it, Fisher's performance still elevates it. Not that there was ever going to be a campaign for her, but she deserved at least a Best Supporting Actress nomination that year. Though of course, those of us that follow the Oscars know they have a love-hate relationship with comedies. They'll have no issue awarding a comedic performance in a dramatic movie (i.e, Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost, Renee Zellweger in Cold Mountain, etc.) but it's rare for them to nominate a funny performance in a funny movie.

Since Wedding Crashers, though, Isla Fisher has worked consistently. But she hasn't really gotten a role that has reached the same memorable heights as her Gloria. Then again, maybe she's one of those performers who is content with just being a working actress like Emily Blunt, Rose Byrne, and Rachel McAdams. I've read quotes from those actresses that suggest they're happy with how their careers are.

This year, though, she gets to play the female lead in the spy comedy Keeping Up With The Joneses opposite Zach Galifianakis, Gal Gadot, and Jon Hamm while starring in the ensemble drama Nocturnal Animals for director Tom Ford who guided Colin Firth to an Oscar nomination for A Single Man. Who knows how Nocturnal Animals will play to the Academy. But even if they don't, here's hoping she gets recognized somewhere down the line.