Dear Paul Giamatti,

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You are my favorite supporting actor transcending into the big time. Whenever I see your name cast, I know the film will be better with you than without. You started acting in the early 1990s in bit roles on television and films but by the 2000s, you emerged as a man with great character.

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You stand next to Tall-Dark-And-Handsome on the screen looking like everyone’s unlucky brother or the invisible geek who runs the show like in The Truman Show (1998). Step out and take a bow, for here are the ways in which I think you’re better than most of the Alpha Dogs.

Your performances make good movies memorable.

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Lady in the Water (2006) you were the grieving doctor-turned-janitor of a motley crew at an apartment complex. M.Night Shyamalan’s film dabbled in  Magical Realism, and there were parts that were fun to watch like the film critic attack and the one-armed muscle builder. However, it was your ability, Paul, with your stuttering, your doleful eyes, and your bravery that made the movie bearable to watch.

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My favorite Ron Howard film is Cinderella Man (2005).

What a heartwarming film and superbly shot boxing scenes in the ring. With great actors by your side, your energetic performance became an integral part to the story for which you won a Golden Globe and were nominated for the Oscar.

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The Illusionist (2006) You were Inspector Uhl hunting down Edward Norton. I thought this movie which competed the same year as The Prestige, was better because of your human portrayal. You tried to be the tough guy but  came to admire the escape artist; your expressive eyes and voice made your character convincing. You were bested and laughed about it making your character likeable. I think that’s your secret. Whatever role you play, even when you are a schmuck, the audience forgives you like we did in Sideways (2004).

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I love dark comedies and this one is high up there. Mr. Giamatti, I love your portrayal of Miles. You stole $100 dollar bills from your mother’s sock drawer and were the uptight, melancholy loser who gets the girl in the end. The film garnered a lot of nominations and awards including Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars. When Miles the wine snob finds himself in the strangest situations such as the nude angry husband chasing him, I laugh out loud every time. Maybe because I appreciate wine and daydream about a road trip to the Santa Barbara Wine Country, the cinematography capturing the culture of wine-producing and gorgeous countryside makes this a delightful comedy for me.

They Love You in Television

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In 2008, your HBO series with Laura Linney catapulted your career. Clearly, you can play complex characters with dexterity and depth. I was happy for you when you won the Emmy Award for Best Actor.

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I heard the great news you would be playing a playboy, coy uncle on the marvelous series, Downton Abbey. You’ve come a long way!

The role I least guessed you would play is now a role I look forward to seeing. You a superhero villain in Marc Webb’s,The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Sure! 

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Can’t wait to see you as Rhino!

Paul, I commend your intelligence and busy career and feel it is only a matter of time before you win an Oscar, although, I don’t think you care much if you do or don’t. You’ve always been atypical and original. When you are being funny is when I like you best.

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As the stressed out cartoonist in American Splendor (2003) and the stressed out Dad in Win Win (2011), you make the lunacy of life funny to watch. Keep up the great work!

Sincerely,

Your Favorite Fan

15 thoughts on “Dear Paul Giamatti,

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      1. I haven’t seen Win-Win but I like dark comedies so that sounds good to me. And I haven’t actually seen any od Downton Abbey as I’m not the biggest fan of period drama stuff but I reckon that’s pretty awesome that he’s in it.

  1. Lovely post on an underrated actor!! He was awesome in The Illusionist and Cinderella Man. I remember seeing him in the Sabrina remake w/ Julia Ormond as one of the Larabee’s kitchen staff. Wow, he’s certainly come a long way since then, good for him as he’s so talented!

    1. Thanks, Ruth. 🙂 Yes, even in bit parts he has a presense. I agree with Sabrina and just loved him in Cinderella Man. Have you seen Win-Win? Really excellent dark comedy with a great upbeat ending. I think you would really love it.

    1. My pleasure! I’ve been watching him for years. He’s my “comfort food” actor. He makes all the A-listers’ better and I think he has a great sensibility that he brings to the screen. He’s very real for me.

  2. Hi, Cindy:

    Great work!

    Paul Giamatti has a knack for taking the right roles from across the spectrum. He does evil exceptionally well, as in ‘Shoot ‘Em Up’ and as Doc Oc ‘Spiderman’. Also does the every man and schlub quite well, also.

    He has a lot of potential to be this generation’s Eli Wallach.

    1. I ♥ Eli Wallach! Couldn’t agree with your observation more. There’s a lot to be said for character actors. They avoid all the pitfalls of paparazzi while having the freedom to experiment as artists.

    1. Yeah, I agree. I think he can do anything. I saw the transformation into CD monster and it was awesome. This franchise I will watch and I suspect it will be better than the recent Superman and the other crappy Spidermans….

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