Because we just couldn’t be mean all day long

November 15, 2007

Now it’s time for underrated:

1) Who would you say is an underrated actor?

Does everybody here already know that Sarah Polley grew up and became a great actor and now director? Ramona Quimby was just the beginning.

Also, whatever Greg Kinnear and Matt Damon do, they make it look easy. That is an underrated quality in an actor even if they aren’t underrated in general.

2) What would you say is an underrated movie?

Jesus of Montreal–sounds corny, looks corny when you read the synopsis, totally not corny when you watch it.

An early Sandra Oh movie called Double Happiness–has some really funny stuff. Sandra Oh, like Newsies, used to be underrated, but I think having a Grey’s Anatomy gig now disqualifies her.

A couple of foreign ones that if people know them, know they are good, but aren’t really mainstream: Nobody Knows and After the Wedding. Both of them are deeply moving without hitting you over the head.

3) Who would you say is an underrated author?

I am so lucky that Rosmarie Waldrop was our visiting writer last semester–she’s incredible, and I literally had never heard of her before. V. underrated by non-avant poets.

There’s also a Florida poet named Steve Kronen who spent 13 years writing an amazingly accomplished second book of poetry, and he is a very gracious person and a librarian as well.

Also, there is the a laundry list of all the teachers I’ve had over the years who I’ve also read–Jack Driscoll, Nick Bozanic, Jennifer Clarvoe, at least one of the authors of this blog (haven’t read the other three–yet!). I also have a lot friends from high school and college plugging away, and some of them are so talented it would make you cry. Well, it makes me cry on a regular basis anyway.

4) What would you say is an underrated book?

Housekeeping might be slightly underrated, because I think it’s actually in contention for the best book ever–but it isn’t by any means a secret.

Tripmaster Monkey, but Maxine Hong Kingston–incredibly, intensely well-written, just as interesting as her nonfiction but a whole lot more demanding on the reader.

5) Who or what else needs to be given more respect and accolades?

The US national soccer teams, both of them. The men have quietly improved and do much better in international competition than they used to, and they are starting to get a reputation as a team to be nervous about playing in early rounds of the World Cup. But the really obnoxious thing is that the women pretty much are the best in the world, and they’ve overcome a lot of economic barriers to do it. They should be national heroes.

Claire Danes’s hair in The Family Stone. That is some awesome hair.

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