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Posted May 11, 2010 to photo album "Annette Bening"
Annette Bening Is Funny As Hell
Just as Bening brought heart to her tough gal roles, she also brought an unexpected edge to her comedy turns. Her volatile mix of horror, humor and humanity created characters that were both complex and comic. As the no-nonsense real estate agent in Sam Mendes’ American Beauty––a role for which she received a Best Actress Oscar nod––she was, as the New York Times’ Janet Maslin wrote, “scathingly funny, and also quite graceful, as a walking monument to despicable values.” In Being Julia (another Oscar-nominated role), Bening’s character, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Kevin Thomas, “can be theatrical and self-indulgent but has too much humor ever to lose sympathy.” A few years later, playing the cruelly self-absorbed mother in Ryan Murphy’s Running with Scissors, Bening was complimented by the Village Voice’s Rob Nelson for her ability “to humanize a character that in other hands would look like a vicious satire of '70s new-age feminism.”