I know my five readers may not be as passionate about independent movies as I am, but today we’re going to profile an actor that you should get to know (not personally; leave that to me). Campbell Scott is the darling of art house films and for good reason. Son of the late George C. Scott and Colleen Dewhurst, Scott delivers his lines with Shakespearean articulation, a tribute, perhaps to good genes and his years in the theater. His penetrating gaze, charming smile, and good looks alone should have rocketed him to leading man roles in bigger films, but then maybe he’s rejected major movie studio suitors; he chooses his films very carefully (OK, aside from Music and Lyrics and the early Dying Young with Julia Roberts, which will always be a favorite, never mind what the critics say) and recently lent his voice to an oil commercial, which probably pays the bills—indie films not really raking in the cash that blockbusters do, which is not unlike our backward system that rewards oil execs with higher salaries than teachers. But I digress.
Scott has starred in Roger Dodger, The Secret Lives of Dentists, The Spanish Prisoner, Big Night, Singles, Longtime Companion and the TV show Six Degrees that was prematurely canceled last year (my friends called the show pretentious, but I mourned the loss like a pet that had died; besides, they watch Grey’s Anatomy so who are they to judge?). The abovementioned are only the less obscure films so if you haven’t seen at least one of those, we can’t be friends.
In Boston last year, I attended a staged reading of a one-man play, The Atheist, and Scott’s performance was so dynamic that it felt like a full-on production even without a set, other actors, or props—just him, alone on a stool reading the lines. His voice and skill were that good.
His latest film, Phoebe in Wonderland with Patricia Clarkson (also a sweetheart and stellar actress) and Elle Fanning, is playing tonight at the Somerville Theater as part of the Independent Film Festival of Boston. Clarkson and Scott are always good bets, so a movie with them together can only be a gem. What would be ideal, though, is if they attend the screening and take me home with them.